Best Real Estate Blogs of August 2023
The dog days of summer are here! Whatever your August is turning out to be, if you enjoy reading good real estate content, we have some very informative articles this month.
From advice for buyers and sellers to a plethora of terminology, you will walk away with an education that will benefit you, whether buying or selling or building a real estate career.
Looking for an Agent You Can Trust?
How do you know if you can trust a real estate agent? Buying and selling a home is complicated and is, for most people, the most expensive transaction they make in a lifetime. Legal aspects and challenging financial decisions must be made, and people count on their real estate agent’s advice and experience.
There are some key traits for success in the real estate industry, which include both people skills and technical knowledge. The result of hiring a trustworthy real estate agent can mean a world of difference in a transaction. Learn what to look for to find a real estate agent who will provide exceptional service and go above and beyond to satisfy clients.
Good Real Estate Photography Sells Homes
Real estate photography is essential for effectively marketing a home. It plays a significant role in capturing the attention of potential buyers and compelling them to schedule a showing.
Attention to composition, lighting, and highlighting key features is important to create impactful photographs.
As Kevin Vitali points out, having professional high-quality real estate photography sells homes. Collaboration with real estate agents and property owners ensures that their goals and requirements are met. Kevin has several great tips, from lighting to angles, post-processing, and editing.
Real estate photography is one of the most important aspects of marketing your home. If done well, it can reap you thousand,s if not tens of thousands of dollars more over a home that isn’t professionally photographed.
How to Find a Great Real Estate Attorney
Whether buying or selling a home, having an exceptional real estate attorney in your corner can be a godsend. From reviewing and negotiating purchase agreements to researching titles, lawyers do quite a bit to protect your interests.
If you are buying a condo, they will also review condo association documents, review the condo rules, and check to ensure there is proper funding in the reserves.
So how do you go about getting an excellent attorney? See the tips on how to find a real estate attorney you will love.
We Buy Ugly Houses Explained
You may have heard of a company called “We Buy Ugly Houses.” It is a well-known company that offers homeowners a convenient solution for selling their properties quickly and without needing repairs or renovations. They specialize in buying properties for cash, providing homeowners with a swift solution to their selling needs.
However, as Paul Sian points out, sellers should be prepared to receive a lower sale price for their property, as the company primarily focuses on acquiring homes at a discounted rate.
There are some pros and cons of using We Buy Ugly Houses. If you consider this company an option for selling your home quickly and hassle-freely, read up and understand all the details.
The Importance of an Accurate CMA
If you’ve ever sold a home, you may have heard the term CMA or Comparative Market Analysis. What exactly is a CMA? A CMA is a valuable tool in the real estate industry that helps sellers set competitive listing prices, and buyers make fair offers.
A CMA should not be confused with an official appraisal conducted by certified or licensed appraisers. A comprehensive CMA report comprises several key components, including subject property details, comparable property information, adjustments and comparisons, and market trends analysis.
Read Luke Skar’s informative article for a great tutorial on creating an accurate and effective CMA.
Can I Trust the Seller Disclosure?
The seller disclosure statement is a crucial document that sellers must complete when selling their homes in some states. For example, in Massachusetts, seller disclosure forms are not required.
Its purpose is to provide potential buyers with information about the condition of the property and any known issues or defects. It is a federally required document. However, it has limitations.
Conor MacEvilly points out that Buyers should not solely rely on the information in the disclosure form and should conduct their due diligence, including a home inspection, to uncover any hidden issues. The form relies on the information provided by the seller, and some sellers may not be aware of certain issues or may choose not to disclose them.
What is A Quit-Clam Deed?
A quitclaim deed is a legal document that transfers property ownership without title guarantees. It is commonly used in specific situations that involve transfers within families, property transfers between spouses, divorce settlements, correcting errors in titles, and transferring property to revocable life trusts.
While quitclaim deeds are commonly used to transfer property, they may not clarify specific title issues effectively. If there are undisclosed liens, mortgages, or other encumbrances on the property, they will not be resolved by simply using a quitclaim deed.
If a quitclaim deed has been suggested, be sure to research and understand how a quitclaim deed works.
Oh No, the House Didn’t Appraise!
When a buyer and seller agree on a price for a property, the lender typically requires an appraisal to determine the property’s value. If the appraised value is lower than the agreed-upon price, it creates an appraisal gap. This means that the buyer may need to come up with additional funds to cover the difference or negotiate with the seller to lower the price.
In a vibrant seller’s market where bidding wars are commonplace, buyers might want to consider appraisal gap coverage. As Eric Jeannette explains, appraisal gap coverage refers to the protection buyers can include in their purchase offer. It addresses the difference between the agreed-upon price of a home and its appraised value.
Buyers aim to mitigate the risk of a deficient appraisal affecting their financing or overall investment by offering to cover the appraisal gap.
Keeping the Money Safe
When purchasing a home, the buyer typically must transfer a large sum of money to the seller or their representative. Wire transfers are a secure and efficient way to transfer funds electronically from one bank account to another. Understanding the wire transfer process ensures the home buyer can complete the transaction and avoid potential issues or delays.
Wire transfers are a regular part of many real estate transactions. Follow Joe Boylan’s advice and learn about how wire transfers work.
As with all transactions in modern times, many scams are popping up with this aspect of real estate. Buyers and sellers should stay informed and keep their eyes wide open.
Understanding Reverse Mortgages For Seniors
A reverse mortgage is a financial product that allows homeowners, typically seniors 62 and older, to convert a portion of their home equity into cash. Unlike a traditional mortgage, where borrowers make monthly payments to the lender, with a reverse mortgage, the lender makes payments to the homeowner.
Reverse mortgages provide additional income for retirees with limited savings but substantial home equity. These loans, however, can be used for different purposes besides a monthly paycheck or lump sum payment.
The amount of money a homeowner can access through a reverse mortgage depends on several factors, including the borrower’s age, the appraised value of the home, and current interest rates.
Generally, the older the homeowner and the higher the home value, the more money they can borrow. The borrowed funds can be received in various ways, such as a lump sum, monthly payments, or a line of credit. However, the loan repayment is typically deferred until the homeowner sells the home, moves out permanently, or dies.
It is essential to note that reverse mortgages are loans; therefore, borrowers are still responsible for paying property taxes, insurance, and home maintenance costs.
Additionally, reverse mortgages come with fees and interest rates, which can affect the overall cost of the loan. It is crucial for homeowners considering a reverse mortgage to thoroughly understand the terms and conditions, seek professional guidance, and consider the long-term implications before making a decision.
Energy-Efficient Home Design
Energy efficiency is an essential aspect of modern home designs. Investing in energy-efficient home design is environmentally responsible and financially savvy. Michelle Gibson gives us seven ideas to create a stylish, comfortable, and sustainable living space that reflects your values and distinguishes your residence from others.
Her article explores various energy-efficient home design tips that enhance your home’s appearance and functionality while contributing to a more sustainable lifestyle. It covers topics such as maximizing natural light, incorporating solar panels and energy storage systems, using smart home devices, and much more.
PREVIOUS REAL ESTATE ROUNDUPS
Look at some of the excellent advice from past real estate roundups.
- The best real estate roundup for July 2023 – if you love reading this roundup, check out the advice from last month too!
- The best real estate roundup for June 2023 – get outstanding advice from top real estate agents around the US to help buy or sell a house.
About the author: Karen and Chris Highland of the Highland Group with eXp Realty in Central Maryland have been helping people buy and sell residential real estate in and around Frederick, Maryland, for over 30 years.
“We’re passionate about educating consumers about the ins and outs of residential real estate and the local market and equipping them with realistic expectations about buying and selling a home.”