Jan. 11, 2018

2018 Market Update - How Much Is My Home Worth?

Even if you aren't looking to sell your home in the near future, it's still important to have a good idea where the housing market sits.  Think of it like the stock market. Many people who are invested in the stock market check their stocks every single day.  Even though it's difficult to constantly stay up to date on the housing market like it is with the stock market, it's still important to know. 


How Much Is Your House Worth?

When determining what your home is worth, it's important to look at it from a sales comparison approach.  This involves finding similar homes to yours in your area and comparing the sold price of these homes using 'above ground square footage'.  When comparing homes sold price and above ground square footage, we come up with an average price per above ground square foot for the homes we compared. This price per above ground square foot is very important because it's the key component when appraisers put a value on a home.

FOR EXAMPLE:

A home with above ground square footage of 1,000 sq/ft is sold for $100,000. This homes price per above ground square footage would be $100/square feet. Lets take this a step further. If your house has 1,500 above ground square feet, then according to our price/square foot formula your home could potentially sell for $150,000 (without taking into consideration any updates to your home.

The Ultimate Guide To Pricing Your Home

Step 1: Finding Comparable Homes To Yours

The first step to accurately putting an accurate value on a home is to find homes that are similar to the home we are trying to price.

Aspects that we compare include but are not limited to:

  1. Price per square feet
  2. Price per above ground square feet
  3. Neighborhood/surrounding homes 
  4. School District
  5. Year Built
  6. Finished Basement
  7. Acreage 

Step 2: Compile Into List 

For step 2, we take the homes we found in step 1 and compile them into a list. We also put these comparable homes onto a map showing their exact location compared to the home we are doing an analysis on.

Step 3: Convert The List of Comparable Homes Into an Easy to Read Graph

Once our list is compiled, we then place these for sale and sold comparable homes on a linear regression graph. On this graph, points are plotted based on each home's price per above ground square footage.  After the points are plotted we then draw a line based on the average price per square foot of the comparable homes being sold. Finally, we draw and color in a circle on the graph that represents the range in which we believe your home could sell for in today's market conditions.

Remember: In order for our team to put a more precise value on your home, other aspects must be considered such as:

  1. Overall home layout
  2. Utility ages including roof and windows
  3. Amenities to your kitchen
  4. Bathroom amount and quality
  5. Flooring type throughout the home

The blue line on the graph typically represents homes with average amenities.

As mentioned before, the sold price per square foot is the key component to an appraisers valuation.  The value of a finished basement is added in to an appraisal at a much lower price per square foot.  A rough estimate and general rule of thumb is that finished basement square footage is 25-30% of the above ground price per square foot value.


If you have just read this post or watched the video and would like to find out an approximate value to your home we highly recommend using our home valuation tool below. Although not perfect, this tool will give you a close estimation and range of what your home could potentially sell for.

Once you use our tool, we will complete a much more in depth analysis of your home using our ultimate guide to pricing your home as described above.

 

Posted in Real Estate Tips
Dec. 19, 2017

Why You Should Not FSBO

It is true that in some cases a seller may save a little bit of money if they successfully sell their home without a real estate agent. However, there are many aspects of selling a home that ordinary people don't know or don't fully understand.

Paperwork and disclosures, negotiating, setting a purchase price, time and energy, and the fact that almost 90% of buyers use an agent are just the start to why it's important to consider hiring a real estate agent to sell your house for you.

In reality, more times than not, selling your home without a realtor will in fact cost you more money than hiring a licensed realtor to do it for you.

Negotiating: It's More Than Increasing an offer by 50%

Not only will you have to negotiate with the potential buyer and buyers agent, but you will have to negotiate with a long list of other people throughout the home selling process. This is important to know because doing this yourself and without the help of an experienced realtor, it can be very overwhelming and time consuming.

Along with negotiating with the long list of people, your realtor will help negotiate a purchase price to get you the most out of your home as possible.

Average Sold Price: Realtor Vs. FSBO

Yes, when you sell your house on your own without using a realtor you won't have to hand over a percentage of the sale to the realtor.  However, it is proven that on average homes sold by their owners are sold for significantly less. As stated in the National Association of REALTORS® Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, the typical FSBO home sold for $185,000 compared to $240,000 for homes sold with the help of an agent.

Not only is this due to the fact that most realtors are great negotiators, but also because the main job of a realtor is pricing a house to sell for the top amount.

Accurately Pricing A Home Is Difficult

If you didn't know already, I graduated from Eastern Michigan University with a degree in Economics and Mathematics. Needless to say, my favorite and best part of my job is pricing homes based on current market conditions. I pride myself in my ability to read market trends and to accurately determine the top price a home could sell for.


[Check out my bio here]


Agents Handle All Paperwork and Disclosures

As the regulations throughout the real estate industry heighten, so does complexity of contracts and other paperwork required to buy a house.  Without a realtor, the process of of completing this paperwork can prove to be a burden and create unneeded stress while selling a home.

At Elite Home Selling, we are very fortunate to have an expert 'transaction coordinator' who handles all paperwork from creating the offer to closing documents. 

Further, it's important to know our transaction coordinator also communicates with the lender, title company, and other agents throughout the entire processes of buying or selling a home.

REMEMBER: THIS IS A FULL TIME JOB!

87% Of Buyers Used A Real Estate Agent In 2017 (NAR)

Now, what does this mean to a seller? Sellers need to know that buyer agents will expect their cut if they supply a buyer.  One of the biggest reasons people decide to sell their homes without a realtor is to save money, but they must remember if they want a ready and able buyer they must be willing to cough up some cash to a buyers agent.

Sellers should also know that many buyer agents look for FSBO's as a last resort.  Unfortunately for people trying to sell their own house, buyers agents will often times try and steer their clients away from FSBO's.  This is not only because certain FSBO's will not agree to paying a commission, but MOSTLY because the realtor is almost always the person who has to handle the paperwork for both sides.  THINK ABOUT THE TRANSACTION COORDINATOR!

Most Buyers Find Their Home Through A Realtor, NOT THE INTERNET!

Sure, many buyers find their homes on websites like, dare I say, Zillow. However, according to Digital Risk, 47.5% of people still find their homes through their realtor. 

If you're considering selling your home on your own, you should know that when you upload your home on common real estate search engines many real estate agents will not see it.  This is because a large majority of agents ONLY look at homes through the Multiple Listing Service

 

% Of FSBO's At An All Time Low

All of the reasons state above, including others, have contributed to the fact that homes for sale by owner has decreased to a mere 8% since 1981.

It is now harder than ever to sell your home without a realtor, and even if you do manage to do so, you most likely won't be getting the most money possible for it.

 

 

Posted in Real Estate Tips
Dec. 7, 2017

Buying A Home In The Winter Could Get You A Great Price

We know it's cold, we know even the thought of visiting homes in the Winter makes you shiver. However, if you are looking to get the best deal on a house, December-February are historically the months with the cheapest average home prices.

Based on data from the last 2 years from the Greater Lansing Area MLS, we will explain several reasons why you should buy in the Winter Months.

Historically Lower Average Prices

According to the graph taken directly from the Greater Lansing Area MLS database, the average sold price of homes in January and February for both the 2016 and 2017 calendar years were significantly lower than the Summer months.

This graph shows prices of homes sold in January and February of both 2016 and 2017 hovered around $132,000. While prices of homes sold in June in the same two years were around $170,000. That is a difference of almost $40,000 in that matter of only a few months!

Now, we know what you're probably thinking.  The price of homes sold in the Winter months were only lower because only less expensive homes were being sold, reflecting a lower average price. However, this may not be the case. Continue reading to find out why.

Inventory Begins to Decline in August

As the Autumn season begins to roll around and the leaves begin to fall from the trees, so does the housing inventory.  This according to the graph below, taken directly from the Greater Lansing Area MLS, seems to be the trend in both 2016 and 2017.

According to this graph, inventory for the August 2016 housing market was at a year high of 2,366 active listings. As the Fall months went on the housing inventory dropped until February of 2017 when there was a mere 1,587 active listings. This is a difference of almost 800 active listings, which is a fairly significant number.

Further, proven by the graph, the same trend that happened from the 2016 fall until the end of the 2017 winter also happened between the 2015 Fall and the end of the 2016 Winter.

What does this mean for you, the buyer?

With such a lack of inventory, won't that mean houses will sell faster and at higher prices? Not necessarily. Not only does inventory decrease, but the amount of houses sold decreases as well. According to the graph above, there was approximately 750 homes sold combined in the 2017 months of January and February.  Further, in the 2017 months of June and July there were approximately 1500 houses sold.  THAT'S DOUBLE THE AMOUNT OF HOMES SOLD!

This means that as supply begins to drop from the Fall through the Winter, so does demand! There aren't many people actively looking to buy a home in the Winter Months.  They are all afraid to venture out in the winter tundra and look at houses.  But you, with your newfound knowledge of the market are smart and know that prices are lower in these Winter months and that is a great time to buy.  If this isn't enough proof why you should buy in the winter, let us continue.

Only Motivated Sellers Keep Their Homes Listed

One of the most biggest reasons why the active listings inventory declines in the winter months is because many sellers take their home off the market.  The homes left on the market through the winter are because the seller is motivated to sell.

Better Price Negotiations

Often times, motivated sellers are willing to accept a lower offer in the Winter months as the activity (showings, questions, offers, etc..) because there are factors pushing them to sell quicker than they'd like.  This is a buyers dream who is looking to get a great deal on a house.  

Where You Can Get Started In Your Search

If you are a motivated buyer and looking for a great deal on a home, it's time to get moving and begin your search.

First, if you've never bought a house before we recommend reading our First Time Home Buyers Guide. This guide will tell you everything you need to know about the home buying process and more.


 [Read]: Home Buying Guide


Once you've done this, we recommend using our home search tool. Other search tools, such as Zillow or Trulia, are often out of date or completely inaccurate.  We can't tell you the amount of times we've received calls on houses that have sold over a year ago.  

Our tool is super accurate as it pulls directly from the MLS and is updated on the minute. We are very grateful of this tool as it has helped many of our clients find their dream home.

Home Search Tool


 

 

 

 

 

 

We know all this information may be a lot to take in so if you have any questions PLEASE reach out and we will be more than happy to answer them.

Posted in Real Estate Tips
Nov. 8, 2017

What's Included In A Monthly Mortgage Payment

For many people, buying a home is the most expensive purchase they will make in their lives.  In order to be able to afford a home most people will take out a home loan and receive a mortgage from a bank lender.

Since buying a home may be the biggest transaction of your life, it's important to know exactly what your spending your money on each month.

P.I.T.I.

One of the best ways to think about what goes into a monthly mortgage payments is by using the PITI acronym. 

P - Principal 

I - Interest

T - Taxes

I - Insurance

Principal

The principal portion of a monthly mortgage payment equates to the actual amount of the loan. Each month part of your mortgage payment go towards your loans principal and that amount will be subtracted from the amount you still owe on your loan.

Interest

Interest is the portion of a monthly mortgage payment that the lender charges for lending the money. A majority of the first few mortgage payments will be paid towards interest.  After each payment less money will be paid towards interest and more will be paid towards the overall principal.

Taxes

Real estate taxes are based upon the assessed value of your home, which can vary wildly.  The assessed value is determined the government tax authority.

Real estate taxes are different based on the area, but they all serve the purpose of helping to pay for municipal services, such as road maintenance and public schools.

Insurance 

The fourth and final portion of your monthly mortgage payment will go towards your home insurance. This is to protect the buyer from any unforseen natural disasters such as fires, or tornadoes. 

Like taxes, home owners insurance can vary greatly depending on the area of the home.  For example, areas that are prone to crime, or areas that have high risk of floods or fires will have higher insurance rates.

Calculating Monthly Mortgage Payments

Calculating a monthly mortgage payment may be a bit confusing.  In most cases, its best to determine what you think you will be able to afford per month for a house payment.

Once you determine your ideal monthly payment we would be more than happy to help you determine what a monthly mortgage payment would be on any particular house.

Nov. 6, 2017

Real Estate Appraisals - What You Should Know

Out of all the steps buyers and sellers must take in order to transfer ownership real estate property, the appraisal is arguably the most important one.

Most real estate transactions cannot be officially completed until an appraisal is performed by a licensed appraiser. Further, a majority of real estate transactions are contingent on the appraisal.

It's important to know what an appraisal is, what goes into them, and what they can mean to a real estate transaction.

What is an Appraisal?

An appraisal is an expert opinion of the estimated value of a home.  Appraisals are performed by certified real estate appraisers who are hired by the lender.

Appraisals are done to protect both the mortgage lender and the buyer from over paying for a property.

The appraiser will take recently sold homes in the area of the house being considered.  They will then compare aspects such as square footage, number of beds/baths, recent updates, and any appliances along with many other features.

Who Pays for the appraisal?

Although this is negotiable, typically the buyer will pay for an appraisal. Remember, appraisers are hired by the mortgage lender and DO NOT work for the buyer.  They are working in the best interest for the bank.  

How can an appraisal make or break a real estate transaction?

As previously stated, an appraisal is an expert opinion of the estimated value of a real estate property. 

REMEMBER: Regardless of what a buyer is willing to pay or a seller is willing to accept, it always comes down to the what the appraised value of the home is.

Consider this, a buyer receives an accepted offer on a home at $200,000. Inspections have been cleared, the buyer has been granted financing,  and now its time for the appraisal. The appraiser performs his duties, and determines that the value of the house is only $195,000.

This would mean the appraisal came back short and that 'the house did not appraise.' In this case, the appraisal has potentially broken the transaction. However, there are some options if a house does not appraise.

On the other hand, if the appraiser determined that same house had a value of $205,000, then that would mean 'the house did appraise' and the deal would be able to continue with no interruptions regarding the appraisal.

Options For Transactions When The Home Does Not Appraise

It's important to know that appraisers aren't there to stop a real estate transaction. They working in the best interest of the mortgage lender and must use their best judgement when placing a value on a home.

Even though a house didn't appraise for the agreed purchase price, there are still a few options that can be taken to close the deal.

Option 1 - A Second Appraisal

The first option for a low appraisal is to request the home be appraised by a separate appraiser.  Unfortunately, the buyer will have to pay for this second appraisal. Also, this can be risky because it could potentially result in another low appraisal and a big waist of time and money.

However, if you and your realtor do truly believe the home is worth the agreed upon price, then this could get a great option.

Option 2 - Increase Down Payment

The second option for a low appraisal is for the buyer to make up the difference in the purchase price and appraisal and increase their down payment.

For example, if the agreed upon price of a home is $200,000 and the appraisal comes in at $195,000, then the buyer would have to put an extra $5,000 of their own money towards the down payment. That is, if the buyer chooses this option.

Option 3 - Renegotiate Purchase Price

The third option is for the buyer and seller to renegotiate the purchase price of the home. This can be done by agreeing that the appraised value is the new purchase price.

This may be in the sellers best interest because even if the home is appraised by a second appraiser, it is likely that the appraised value will be a similar amount.

Although in our experience with low appraisals, certain sellers have decided to take their home off the market for a short amount of time in order to make some improvements to increase the value of the home. 

Option 4 - Walk Away

Option four is the most obvious and that is to walk away from the deal.

As unfortunate as this may sound with such a waist of time and money, this option may be in the buyers best interest in the long run. 

This option can save a buyer from a potential bad deal where the resale value of the home is low and could save a buyer from losing money when they decide to sell the house.


If you are in the unfortunate position where the home you were looking to purchase didn't appraise, you can use our home search tool to search for homes in your desired area.

 

 

Nov. 2, 2017

Real Estate Contingencies - What You Should Know

Throughout both the buying and selling processes in real estate you will come across several types of contingencies. 

In this post you will learn about all the different types of real estate contingencies and how they can effect a transaction.

Contingency Definition

According to the Merriam Webster Dictionary, a contingency is something liable to happen as an adjunct to or result of something else.

In other words, for certain actions to occur, another action may have to occur first.

For example... The purchase of your house may be contingent on the sale of your existing house.

Real Estate Contingencies

There are many different real estate contingencies that may appear throughout real estate transactions. 

It's important to know what each them are and how they can effect a the sale of a home

Disclosure Contingencies

Real estate transactions are always contingent on the buyers acceptance of the sellers disclosure form.

When a seller lists a home, depending on the county or area the home is listed in, the seller will be required to provide some sort of disclosure about the house.  These disclosures detail any problems with the house as well as the overall condition of the home. Further, disclosures are created to help protect a seller from any legal actions being taken against them after a sale.

Often times these disclosures are provided even before a buyer writes an offer, but be aware that sometimes these won't be provided until after an offer is accepted, although rare.

Inspection Contingencies

The sale of any real estate property is always contingent on the buyers satisfaction of a home inspection.

Although not required, we highly recommend hiring a licensed inspector to make sure the home is in the condition presented in the disclosures.


Click here and check out our comprehensive guide on property inspections and learn everything you need to know about them.


Loan Contingencies

Remember, sometimes buyers who have been pre-approved for a home loan end up not  being able to receive a home loan due to certain findings of a buyers financials during the underwriting process.

REMEMBER: the sale of a real estate property is ALWAYS contingent on the buyer being able to obtain financing.  So in an instance where a buyer is unable to receive financing the sale will be void and the buyer's earnest money deposit will be returned to them.

Appraisal Contingencies

In order to protect themselves, mortgage providers will perform an appraisal on a house to ensure the house is worth the amount that they are giving the buyer for a loan.

During the appraisal process, the appraiser will take comparable houses recently sold in the area of the home.  This will help them determine the true value of the property in consideration.

If the appraisal comes back lower than the purchase price, the buyer will have a few options.

  1. If the seller is willing, the purchase price of the property may be renegotiated to match the appraisal price.
  2. The buyer can make up the difference of the purchase price and the appraisal and add it to their down payment.
  3. Walk away from the deal.

Sell-To-Buy Contingencies

As mentioned previously as an example, often times mortgage lenders will require a buyer to sell their current house before the purchase of another house.

These contingencies are put in place not only to protect the lender, but the buyer as well. The lender does not want to force people with limited finances to pay two mortgages if they can't afford them.

Imagine buying a house and opening a second mortgage and not being able to sell your first home for a longer period of time than expected.  It is clear that this situation would not be great for many people.

However, you should know that the purchase of a house being contingent on the sale of your current house may decrease a buyers purchasing power.

These contingencies can be scary to sellers as often times these types of deals can fall through, which would be a waste of the sellers time and money.

 

Do not worry. These contingencies are fairly common and we have experienced closing several sell-to-buy deals.


If you're a first time buyer, or just starting your home search check out our comprehensive home buying guide.

Also, for those in the middle of their home search, we recommend using our home search tool. 

 

 

Posted in Real Estate Terms
Oct. 27, 2017

Real Estate Property Inspections - Everything You Should Know

Congratulations! You finally received an accepted offer on your dream home and on the surface IT LOOKS GREAT!

Unfortunately, more times than not there are some defects that you, as well as the seller, may be been unaware of.

Don't think of this as a bad thing though! You may be able to use these defects to your advantage during negotiations.


Why Should You Get A Home Inspection?

Although not required, we HIGHLY RECOMMEND getting a home inspection on the house you are buying. 

This is not only to protect you from certain aspepcts of the home being faulty or broken, but also to help with negotiating power.

Home inspections are done to make sure the buyer knows of any problems with the house so they can get them resolved before moving in.

Inspection Contingencies

Unless a buyer opts out of performing home inspections, which we do not recommend, the sale is always contingent on home inspections.

This just means if the buyer is unsatisfied with the home inspection they will not have to follow through with the purchase.

Further, if a buyer is unsatisfied with their home inspection, their earnest money deposit check will be returned to them with no questions asked.


Click this link for more information on real estate contingencies.


Who Pays For The Inspections?

In most instances, the buyer will pay for home inspections. Although it may not seem like it at first, but this is completely to the buyers advantage.

Consider This: The seller hires their own inspector and does not inform the buyer of the inspections.  The inspector will be working under the sellers best interest and may not as thorough of a job. Our guess is that you can see where this is going.

Inspections We Recommend

There are many different types of home inspections, some of which are preformed by separate professionals. We recommend doing each of the following inspections on your home to ensure the home you are buying is in the condition it appears to be in. Also, we have provided the approximate cost of each inspection.

We highly recommend attending these inspections because the inspector will give you detailed insight on how you can care for certain problems that may be found throughout the inspection.

Following the inspection, you will be provided with an in depth summary of the inspectors findings.

If you have your own inspector that is willing to do your inspections for you at a lower price we recommend making sure they are certified by ASHI, which is the American Society of Home Inspectors. It would be a shame for your inspector to miss an important detail such as a broken air conditioning system or garage and you move in without knowing.

We would be more than happy to recommend some of the best certified inspectors in the area who we have been working with for several years.

Exterior Home Inspection 

$300 (This cost covers interior and exterior)

During this inspection, the inspector will observe all of the following:

  • Structural 
  • Roof
  • Exterior walls
  • Doors and windows
  • Foundation
  • Garage and Grounds
  • Electrical System
  • Chimney and Drainage

Interior Home Inspection 

The cost of this inspection is included in the exterior home inspection price.

This inspection is typically completed by the same inspector as the exterior inspection and will include the following:

  • Heating (HVAC) System
  • Air Conditioning System (If applicable)
  • Electrical system
  • Interior Rooms/Living Area(s)
  • Bedrooms
  • Attic
  • Plumbing System
  • Water Heater
  • Fireplace
  • Kitchen
  • Bathroom

Radon Inspection

The cost of a radon inspection is approximately $100.

These inspections are typically done by the same person who does the interior/exterior inspection.

Radon is a naturally occurring gas that is caused by radioactive decay and can be potentially harmful.  This radioactive gas is measured in what they call 'Picocuries.' It is recommended that above 4 Picocuries can be too harmful to inhabit.

Not to worry! There are developed ways to decrease the radon level in a house.

To learn a little more about how radon can affect real estate transactions visit the Department Of Environmental Quality.

Pest Inspection

The cost of a pet inspection is approximately $75.

The objective of a pest inspection is to make sure there are no pests such as insects, termites, rodents, bats, or other creatures inhabiting your house.

We recommend having this done because too often pests such as termites diminish the quality of the structure of a house.

 


Related Articles

Everything you should know before buying a house.

Check out how you can use our website to your advantage during your home search.

Use our Home Valuation Tool to get the approximate value of your home.

 

 

Oct. 26, 2017

EMD - Earnest Money Deposit

Although not required, an earnest money deposit is the best way to show a seller how serious you are about buying their home.

You should know, earnest money deposit (EMD) is also referred to as a good faith deposit because they are made in good faith that you will follow through with buying the home.

Earnest Money Deposit - Defined

When making an offer on a home it is typical for a buyer to submit an earnest money deposit into an escrow account. This deposit shows the seller that you are committed to buying their house.

Suggested EMD Amount

We always suggest writing a check for an EMD at 1% of the sales price.  

For example, if you are writing an offer on a home at $100,000 your EMD will be $1,000.

This isn't always the case and sometimes we suggest writing an EMD at more than 1% of the purchase price.

A Larger EMD Can Give You A Better Chance At Getting An Accepted Offer

In today's market, many homes are selling very quickly.  With that being said it's important to know the home you are writing an offer on is very likely to receive multiple offers.  

As stated above, an EMD shows the seller that you are committed to buying their house.  In order to show the seller you are more committed than other buyers, you may want to consider writing a larger EMD.

For example, you  are writing an offer on a house at $150,000 and another buyer writes an offer on the same house at the same price.  However, you commit to writing a $5,000 EMD check and the other buyer only commits to the recommended 1% EMD and only is willing to write a $1,500 EMD check.  The seller is more likely to accept your offer because you have showed you are more committed to buying the house.

Can A Buyer Get Their EMD Back?

There are certain instances where a buyer can get their EMD back if the deal falls through. These contingencies are all laid out in the contract.

Even though a buyer gets pre-approved for a mortgage it does not guarantee they will be able to obtain financing.  Sometimes during the underwriting process, a lender will find certain financial instances where they will not be able to supply a loan to a buyer.

The most common way that a buyer gets their money back is when they fail to receive financing. 

Please talk to Ben Magsig if you have any questions regarding your Earnest Money Deposit.


Check Out These Other Helpful Posts!

6 Reasons Why You Should Use a Buyers Agent.

Everything You Need To Know About Writing An Offer On A House.

 

Posted in Real Estate Terms
Oct. 24, 2017

Escrow Accounts

Escrow accounts. They truly are one of the most confusing aspects of any real estate transaction. 

DO NOT WORRY!

We are here to clear up any confusion you may have. 

First, you should know that escrow accounts are created as a way to help protect both the buyer and seller.

Definition

An escrow, according to investopedia, is a legal concept in which a financial instrument or an asset is held by a third party on behalf of two other parties that are in the process of completing a transaction.

In simpler terms, an escrow is an account, which holds the buyers EMD (earnest money deposit), and is held by a third party until certain criteria is met and until the buyer and seller negotiate the details of the transaction.

For Example...

If during inspections the inspector finds the air conditioning unit to be broke you will be able to create a contingency to buying the house saying the seller must fix the air conditioner before you buy the house.  Now, say the seller agrees to this contingency, but during your final walk through you find that the air conditioner was, in fact, not fixed.  If this is the case, you will be entitled to the money you placed in the escrow account in the form of an EMD.

Buyer Protection

Escrow accounts are created in order to protect both the buyer and seller.  

As mentioned above, escrow accounts can protect a buyer in instances where a seller does not follow through with promises made during negotiation. 


REMEMBER: From the day you write an offer to the day you close on your house, your offer is ALWAYS contingent upon you qualifying for a loan from a bank.  If you lose your job the day before closing and cannot qualify, the offer will be considered dead and the EMD will be returned to you.


Seller Protection

For sellers, if the buyers have obtained financing and decide not to follow through with the purchase, the buyers EMD will be forfeited to the seller.  

This is great news for the seller because instances like these can be a huge waist of time and money to the seller.

Still Confused?

Hopefully we have successfully given you the understanding of what an escrow account is and how it can protect you whether your a buyer or a seller.

However, we love and value your feedback, so if you are still a bit confused please feel free to reach out to use and we would be more than happy to answer any of your questions.


Check out a few of our other posts that may help with your home buying journey.

Find out everything you need to know when buying a house.

Learn what goes into making an offer on a house.

Posted in Real Estate Terms
Oct. 24, 2017

What Is The MLS?

Multiple Listing Service

The Multiple Listing Service, more commonly known throughout the real estate community as the MLS, is an amazing resource that real estate agents have access to.  It was created as an easier way for Real Estate Agents to have direct access to all homes currently listed so they can help their clients find their dream home.

How Does The MLS Work? 

The MLS is a complete and up to date list of all homes for sale (sometimes not including homes for sale by owner).  This list provides real time listings and is updated on the minute with all pending offers, accepted offers, and sold homes.  When a home is put up for sale, the listing agent will input this home on the MLS for all other realtors to see.

History Of The MLS

Believe it or not, the MLS has been around since the late 1800s.  However, it hasn't always been offered as an online resource.  In the old days the MLS was in book form and was held at local realtor associations. Think about how far we've come!

How The MLS Can Help You

Now, you may be thinking, how can I have access to the MLS?

To answer that, we must say that we are very thankful for the resources that our website has to offer our clients.  Our home search tool has direct access into the MLS and is updated simultaneously with the real MLS. 

What does this mean to you?

Our site can keep you up to date on all houses that have been recently listed on the MLS based on your saved search criteria.

Home Search Tool


As mentioned above, we are very thankful for the tools our website has to offer.  You can learn more about how to use our website just by clicking the link.

Posted in Real Estate Terms