Helpful Real Estate Articles For Buyers and Sellers

There was so much educational and inspirational real estate content this November! We’ve got articles for home sellers and critical home buyers. First time or experienced, we’ve got you covered with relevant, timely information to contribute to your real estate success.

As the weather demands, you’ll want to pull up a cozy chair by the fire, pour yourself some cocoa, and dig into some great real estate advice.

Preparing For the 2020 Real Estate Market

It’s that time of year when people are looking for advice to get their homes ready for the spring market. What renovations are necessary? Do I need to consider some kitchen upgrades? How much should I spend on the bathroom? Is landscaping really going to cost very much? Most importantly, how can I get the best return on my investments in my house?

These are all important questions. The answers will always be different, depending on your local market. What is trending in New York when it comes to buyers’ expectations? It will certainly be different than what a homeowner faces in Texas. Home Improvement Trends, Where is the Best Return on Investment, Karen and Chris Highland, central Maryland real estate agents, dive into the latest study from, a wealth of information for homeowners across the country. Find out what to do, and even more importantly, what NOT to do when updating your home for your market.

Best Real Estate Articles November 2019

How Does Earnest Money Work?

Whether you are buying or selling a home, it is essential to know what earnest money is and how it works. In the article at Maximum Real Estate Exposure, you will see one of the most comprehensive posts on the subject ever written.

Essentially, the earnest money is “good faith” funds that the buyer puts up to ensure they are going to proceed with a real estate transaction. If a buyer does not perform under the conditions of the contract they would lose their earnest money deposit funds.

Quite often, homebuyers don’t understand the difference between earnest money and a down payment. This detailed article clears up the mystery. See everything you need to know about earnest funds when buying or selling a house.

The FAQ’s on Home Inspections

When buying a house, the home inspection is one of the most vital parts of the transaction. Doing a home inspection is critical to make sure you are not purchasing a lemon. Of course, if you have never bought a home before, you may not know what to ask a home inspector.

In the article at Realty Times, see some of the most frequently asked questions about home inspections. Make sure you get the answers before you move forward with your purchase. An exceptional buyer’s agent will be able to help you with many of the things you need to ask as well.

Should You Sell Your Home to an iBuyer?

Over the last couple of years, homesellers have probably seen the increase in what is termed the “iBuyer”. We’ve got Opendoor, Zillow, Knock or Offerpad, to name a few. I’m sure many sellers are wondering, should you sell your home to an iBuyer? John Cunningham explains some important information in his article What is an iBuyer?

Selling a house is work, there’s no denying it. The appeal to selling to an iBuyer is that the homeowner gets to bypass all the preparation, the marketing, dealing with a RealtorĀ® or the public…the alternative is a simple matter of making an offer. Unfortunately, the trade-off is pretty much a guaranty: you’re not getting top dollar. Read on to learn some important distinctions.

Selling Your Own Home

If you’re considering selling your home yourself, (often called FSBO – for sale by owner) you’ll want to be put your best foot forward by planning ahead. Selling a home is certainly not an event, it’s a process. Paul Sian, Cincinnati real estate agent, has some great advice for you to get prepared. If you’re selling for sale by owner, preparation is key.

What to Know About Buying a Fixer-Upper

One of the most popular purchasing options among home buyers is a fixer-upper. Typically, these homes are discounted in the market because of the amount of work they need. While there can be an appeal to buying these kinds of properties, they are not for the faint of heart.

In the article at Active Rain, you will see some of the most important considerations when buying a fixer-upper house. Take a look at this detailed article to make sure you are not biting off more than you can chew.

For even more advice on purchasing a fixer-upper, see Fred Franks’s article on buying a home that needs work.

Financing A Fixer-Upper

In many markets around the country, we’re experiencing a low inventory of homes on the market. In a tight market, buyers don’t want to overlook a fixer-upper. But is a home that needs work right for you? If it is, how can it be financed? If you’re financing a fixer-upper in the coming year, you’ll want to understand the available loan products.

Luke Skar, a mortgage pro, has some great information in his article how do home improvement loans work? There are many renovation loans available on the market today: An FHA 203K is offered in two different forms. A Homestyle loan, from Fannie Mae, is also an option if you need a larger budget and qualify for a Conventional mortgage.

The VA also offers renovation loans. There are several other choices you’ll want to learn about and talk to your REALTOR to choose the right loan product. Buying a fixer can be a big win…if you plan well.

Making Your Home Salable

Whether you’re selling your own home or working with a REALTOR, there are many things you can tackle yourself that will increase the appeal of your home…and they don’t have to cost a fortune!

Anita Clark, has three easy diy projects that will increase your home’s appeal to today’s buyers. She’s got some great ideas to repurpose that hard to use space, spiff up your landscaping, and make your home smart. I’m partial to making my home smarter Anita, thanks for the great tips!

The Final Step – The Walk-through

So, Mr./Ms. Seller, you’ve made it through the home selling process and tomorrow is settlementcriticalcongratulations! Time to open the bubbly… But wait…there’s more! You’ve got to successfully navigate the walk-through. Hopefully, you’ve executed all that needed to be done on your action list.

If you’re not sure what that means, check out this article by Kevin Vitali, Merrimack Valley Massachusetts real estate pro, and learn for yourself, ways to avoid killing your home sale, and avoid final walk-through stress.

To Sell or Rent – That’s the Question

Perhaps you’re not quite sure whether you should sell your home. Sure, you’re ready to move…up, down, out, or over. But, maybe you’d like to be a landlord. After all, there is money to be made from being an investor.

Sharon Paxon , Newport Beach real estate agent, has some sage and practical advice to explain some of the issues and necessary obligations of being a landlord. It’s important to take stock of the pros and cons of whether to sell or rent your home.

Things to Know Before Buying a Home

The number of first-time homebuyers has been steady throughout this year (around 33%), according to the National Association of RealtorsĀ®. If you’re in that category, it’s a good time to buy. We’ve seen interest rates at historic lows, and they’re forecast to stay steadily low into 2020. Loan products are many, including those requiring fairly low down-payments.

Jeff Nelson, Mobile Alabama real estate pro, has 11 great considerations for home buyers, whether you’re a first-time buyer, or repeat buyer. I recommend reading these tips, even if you have previous experience with a home purchase, because the real estate landscape is always changing. One tip from Jeff that I strongly suggest to every home buyer: How desirable will this property be to other buyers? Don’t neglect to think of resale before you buy!

Financing Options for Home Buyers

Financing options are many, and the details are always changing it seems. Eric Jeanette, has put together an informative article spelling out the differences between FHA loans and VA loans, two of the best and most popular government-backed loans available. Combined, they account for at least 30% of all residential mortgages originated each year in the US.

Homeowner Association Pros and Cons

Before you make an offer in a neighborhood with a Homeowner’s Association (HOA), you’ll want to know all you can about buying in an HOA, and that one particularly. Danny Margagliano, Destin Florida RealtorĀ®, has a helpful list of considerations and questions you should ask ahead of time.

You may love the neighborhood, but you may not love the HOA fees. You may find out that your 84-pound lovable fur-child isn’t welcome, #truestory. Then again, you may find that it’s exactly the kind of neighborhood you are looking for. Best to know ahead of time the pros and cons of an HOA.

Preparing for a Successful Closing

If you’re a first-time homebuyer, you probably don’t know what to expect concerning the closing process. There are several things that may jeopardize your settlement, so you want to make sure you understand what’s involved in making it to the settlement table!

Those last days between contract and closing are crucial, so make sure you don’t have any late payments or large purchases. Check out this important advice on what NOT to do before closing on a house, from Luke Skar, of Madison Mortgage Guys.

Previous Best of Real Estate Articles

Use all of the information found in these articles to make the best decisions possible when buying or selling a home.

This article was written by Karen and Chris Highland, with eXp Realty in Frederick MD. Chris and Karen have been helping people buy and sell residential real estate in Central Maryland for over 26 years. “We’re passionate about educating consumers about the ins and outs of residential real estate and the market, and equipping them with expectations about the process of buying and selling a home.”