Pamela Bailey
RE/MAX On the Move | Insight | Advantage | 603-770-0369 | [email protected]


Posted by Pamela Bailey on 9/23/2020

Photo by Mercigod via Shutterstock

Earnest money is the amount of money put down for a large purchase. While this is not limited to real estate, it is used frequently in the real estate industry. It’s a sign of good faith from the buyer to the seller and normally constitutes about 1%-5% of the home’s price.

How much do you deposit?

There is no set amount for how much you can put down in your earnest account. However, the more money you put into these accounts, the more likely you are to be taken seriously by the seller.

Who gets the money?

Property laws in most states have strict regulations for who holds the money. Most often a third-party escrow company, title company or sometimes the buyer’s broker opens a trust account to hold the funds until completion or dissolution of the sales contract. At that point, the funds go to wherever the contract specifies. That could be back to the buyer or forfeited to the seller. In some cases, the earnest money might go to the real estate agent. If the sale goes through, the funds go toward the buyer’s costs in the transaction, and it appears as a credit on the settlement statement.

To protect yourself from forfeiting earnest money, be fully prepared to complete the sales transaction. Have a pre-qualification letter from your lender, set aside funds for the down payment and closing, and provide the lender, escrow officer, title company and all other interested parties with the information they need for a timely close.

If you wonder about how much earnest money to include, your best resource is your knowledgeable real estate professional.





Posted by Pamela Bailey on 9/16/2020

Image by Nattanan Kanchanaprat from Pixabay

Owning a home can be an amazing experience. But interest from your mortgage accumulates over time, leaving you to seemingly pay an arm and a leg to finance your home. But while you may think that paying off your mortgage early is a great idea, that isn’t always the case.

You May Have Other Debt

Paying off your mortgage early can save you on interest costs, but you more than likely have other debt to deal with. If you have other debts — like car loans, student loans or credit card debt — then these should be paid off first. Try to focus on your debts with higher interest rates; these tend to be associated with credit cards. After you’ve paid those debts off, then moving on to pay off your mortgage could be a good choice.

You Don’t Want to Go Broke

Paying off your mortgage may sound great and all, but you must consider all of your expenses, including possible emergencies. Saving on interest is very tempting, but it shouldn’t come at the expense of your emergency fund. You never know when something serious will happen, so do your best to set aside some cash. If you have hefty savings and all of your expenses are accounted for every month, then you can move on to paying off your mortgage early.

Consider Your Future

Many people try to pay as much as they can towards their mortgage, only to find out that they used up all of their money. While they have some big expenses and big life changes that cost money, now they have to save up in order to cover those costs. That being said, it’s best to think about your future before paying more towards your mortgage. Are you planning on having kids? Thinking of going back to school? With how frequent life changes, you never know when you could use money down the road. While it might seem like a great plan to throw money at your mortgage payment, think about your life goals and how your finances fit in that equation.

It Can Be Beneficial

Although we’ve made some points above that suggest that you shouldn’t pay off your mortgage early, it can still be very beneficial to do so. Let’s say your household is doing very well with finances and money is pouring in quickly. If your other debts and finances are taken care of, then paying off your mortgage early can help you save on interest; the larger amount you pay, the more you’ll save on interest. However, this can be a tough choice. Be sure to consider the points mentioned above before paying this loan off early.





Posted by Pamela Bailey on 9/9/2020

A homebuying negotiation may cause your stress levels to rise. However, as you work toward purchasing your dream house, there is no need to worry. In fact, there are many ways that you can limit stress as you finalize a home purchase, including:

1. Discuss Your Homebuying Concerns with Family Members and Friends

Family members and friends offer plenty of support. Thus, these loved ones are happy to listen to you and help you in any way possible, no matter what happens during a homebuying negotiation.

Don't be afraid to ask family members and friends for homebuying advice, either. These loved ones may be able to share their past homebuying negotiation experiences with you. And by doing so, your family members and friends could provide you with valuable insights that may help you move one step closer to acquiring your ideal residence.

2. Consider the Big Picture

Buying a home likely will be one of the biggest transactions that you'll complete in your lifetime. At the same time, it is important to note that there are plenty of fish in the sea. Therefore, you should try to remember that even if a home purchase agreement falls through, dozens of high-quality houses are still available in cities and towns nationwide.

Sometimes, it helps to take a step back during a homebuying negotiation. If you can inhale and try to relax, you may be better equipped than ever before to stay calm, cool and collected during a negotiation. With a fresh perspective, you could boost the likelihood of coming to terms with a seller and finalizing a home purchase agreement.

3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent

When it comes to purchasing a house, there is no need to embark on the homebuying journey alone. Fortunately, if you hire a real estate agent, you can receive expert support as you navigate the homebuying journey.

A real estate agent understands the stress associated with purchasing a house and will do everything possible to help you alleviate your homebuying worries. He or she can explain the homebuying process and respond to any concerns or questions. Plus, a real estate agent can negotiate with a seller's agent on your behalf to help you get the best price on your dream residence.

Furthermore, a real estate agent provides support after a seller accepts your offer to purchase a residence. A real estate agent will help you set up a home inspection, conduct this inspection with you and ensure you can complete a full review of the inspection results. In addition, a real estate agent can help you prepare for a home closing and ensure you can finalize a home purchase as quickly as possible.

There is no need to let stress get the best of you during a homebuying negotiation. By using the aforementioned tips, you can keep your stress levels in check as you negotiate a home purchase and accelerate the process of purchasing your dream home.





Posted by Pamela Bailey on 9/2/2020

A home appraisal often helps a property seller determine how to price his or her residence. As such, an appraisal is important. And with a great appraisal, a seller may boost the likelihood of earning top dollar for his or her house.

Ultimately, there are many reasons to trust the final results of a house appraisal, and these reasons include:

1. A home appraisal is conducted by a property expert.

An expert home appraiser will allocate significant time and resources to complete his or her report. This professional also will perform a home analysis as part of his or her assessment. That way, a home appraiser can provide an accurate property valuation.

As you consider home appraisers, you may want to search for professionals with comprehensive experience. By doing so, you can find a home appraiser who knows the ins and outs of evaluating properties.

2. A home appraisal is based on your home's condition and real estate market data.

Although many home sellers believe an appraisal's property valuation is based solely on the age and condition of a house, other factors come into play. In fact, a home appraiser generally evaluates the current state of the housing market, the prices of comparable houses that recently sold and other real estate market data to determine the optimal property valuation.

Of course, it typically is a good idea to perform myriad property upgrades before an appraisal is completed. This may help you improve your chances of receiving the best-possible property valuation.

3. A home appraisal provides home selling insights you may struggle to obtain elsewhere.

A home seller won't have to wait too long to receive an appraisal report, as a home appraiser usually can provide this report over the course of a few days. Meanwhile, the report includes a property valuation and other home insights that a seller may be unable to obtain elsewhere. And as a result, the report may prove to be exceedingly valuable, particularly for a seller who wants to maximize the value of his or her house.

When it comes to conducting a home appraisal, you may want to consult with a real estate agent. This housing market professional can explain how a home appraisal works and answer any concerns or questions that you may have. Plus, a real estate agent may be able to put you in touch with the top-rated home appraisers in your city or town.

Let's not forget about the assistance that a real estate agent can provide throughout the house selling journey, either. A real estate agent will help you list your home and promote it to prospective buyers. And if you receive an offer to purchase your residence, a real estate agent can offer a recommendation about how to proceed with this homebuying proposal.

Ready to add your residence to the real estate market? Perform a house appraisal, and you can move one step closer to establishing a competitive initial asking price for your home.




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Posted by Pamela Bailey on 8/26/2020

If you intend to list your house, it helps to determine a competitive initial home asking price. That way, you can stir up plenty of interest in your residence as soon as it becomes available.

Ultimately, there are many reasons to establish a competitive price for your home, and these include:

1. You can boost the likelihood of a quick, profitable home sale.

A competitive home price is sure to garner homebuyers' attention. Thus, it may help your house stand out to potential buyers, increasing the likelihood of a quick, profitable home sale.

Oftentimes, it helps to review the prices of comparable houses in your city or town before you list your residence. If you understand the prices of similar homes in your area, you can set a competitive price from day one. With this price in place, you can generate interest in your home and move one step closer to selling your house.

2. You can minimize the risk of alienating potential buyers.

A home's price is one of the key factors that a buyer will consider as he or she evaluates the real estate market. If your home is overpriced based on its age and condition, you risk alienating potential buyers. And if no buyers show interest in your home, you may be forced to lower your home's price down the line.

Setting a competitive home price requires you to take a close look at your residence and examine its pros and cons. If you can identify your house's strengths and weaknesses, you'll be better equipped than ever before to understand the buyer's perspective. Then, you can establish a price in line with buyers' expectations.

Furthermore, it may be beneficial to conduct a home inspection before you list your residence. This inspection enables you to gain comprehensive insights into any underlying home problems. As a result, you can use the inspection to identify any home issues and ensure these problems won't prevent you from maximizing the profits from your home sale.

3. You won't have to worry about selling yourself short.

A competitive home price likely is based on a wide range of housing market data and a house's age and condition. Therefore, it helps minimize the risk that you'll sell yourself short.

By establishing a competitive home price, you can feel confident that your residence is priced fairly. And if you deploy a data-driven approach to selling your house, you should have no trouble establishing a competitive home price.

Lastly, if you need help determining how to price your house, you may want to hire a real estate agent. This housing market professional can offer expert insights into the home selling journey and ensure you can list your house at a competitive price. In addition, a real estate agent will do everything possible to help you optimize the value of your home.

Ready to list your residence? Set a competitive price for your house, and you can bolster your chances of enjoying a successful home selling experience.