Buying or selling a home can be quite a complex process and you shouldn’t hesitate to ask your real estate agent for advice. That’s what we’re here for! Read on to see our top 10 real estate questions answered and contact us if you have specific questions about Arcata real estate and other Humboldt County properties:
What should I expect to pay in commission?
Commissions range from 5 to 8 percent of the property’s sale price and is divided between the listing/seller’s agent and the buyer’s agent. Also, commissions are negotiable and no agent will take it amiss if you ask for a lower rate (not that they’ll always agree, but asking won’t hurt). Remember not to base your choice of agents on commission alone, however.
What’s the best marketing strategy for selling my home?
At Forbes & Associates, we’ve always aggressively marketed our clients’ properties. We have a multiplatform strategy with a particular focus on online and local marketing. To begin with, we make sure that the property is priced right and that it’s in good shape and ready for viewing. Then we ensure that it’s visible in top sites such as Realtor.com. We also treat each property as unique, so we’ll always modify our plan depending on its features and your needs. Whether or not this is the best marketing strategy is up to you to decide – but since Sue Forbes is the top-selling broker in Humboldt County, then we must be doing something right!
How should I prepare my house for sale?
Preparing your house for sale is a multistep process. The first thing to do is to de-personalize and de-clutter your home as much as possible, then assess what repairs need to be done, work out a budget for improvements (not too large), and make sure that both the interior and exterior are in good shape. Ask your Realtor for advice on repairs/improvements.
How/who comes up with the selling price?
The list price is a figure that the seller and their listing agent agree on based on the prices of comparable recently sold properties in the same area, the current inventory, prevailing market trends, and several other property and area-specific factors.
Is the price negotiable?
The list price of a home is always negotiable. Before you jump into the negotiation process, however, you should do your research first – of the local market, the seller’s particular circumstances, and so on. A good real estate agent will accomplish this and more for you.
What does “owner/seller will carry” mean?
“Owner carry,” “seller will carry,” “owner will carry note” – these all mean that the seller will offer financing. In essence, the seller will act as the lender. These loans are usually short term.
What are the loan types available?
Fixed-rate mortgages and adjustable rate mortgages (ARM) are the two most common loan types available. Other types are interest-only loans (which are similar to ARMs) and government program loans (FHA, VA and RHS). The more exotic loans issued during the housing boom are no longer being offered as much.
What is the purchase process?
Assuming you’ve already gotten your finances ready, figured out how much you can afford, chosen an agent and gotten pre-approved for a loan, the next steps in the typical home purchase process will be: making a purchase offer and having a contract executed, reviewing disclosure documents, getting an appraisal and inspections done, getting a full loan approval from your lender, doing a final walk-through, reviewing the closing statement, and then going through the actual closing.
What is escrow and how does the process go?
Escrow is the actual process wherein the buyer and the seller deposit funds and relevant documentation with a neutral third party, which holds them in trust until all the conditions of the sale are fulfilled. This allows for a more seamless sale and minimizes risk for both parties. Escrow opens once both parties have signed the purchase agreement and delivered it to their escrow holder along with the escrow instructions. A good faith deposit (earnest money) or initial down payment is typically delivered at the same time. The escrow holder will then process the escrow according to instructions. In northern California, escrows are almost always handled by title companies.
How much are my closing costs going to be?
The average closing costs are going to be around 3 percent of the purchase price/loan amount, but can be higher. There are one-time fees and recurring fees and the details will be outlined in the Good Faith Estimate you get from the lender when you first apply for a loan. Since it’s an estimate, however, the amounts at the actual closing may change. To make sure that they haven’t changed more than they should, compare what’s on the GFE with the HUD-1 Settlement Statement (Buyer’s Statement/Seller’s Statement), which you can get one day before closing.
We hope you found our list of top 10 real estate questions answered enlightening. Need more insights? Take a look at our helpful FAQ for home buyers and sellers. Please feel free to get in touch with us at Forbes & Associates if you have any additional queries about the home-buying or selling process, the real estate market in Humboldt County, and so on.