Buying or Selling a Home With Pest Issues Buying a Home With Pest Issues Purchasing a home with pest issues can be a major concern, as pests can cause damage to the structure of the home and create health problems for the occupants. It is important to have a professional pest inspection completed before purchasing a home to identify any existing or potential pest issues. Pest infestations can have serious consequences for the integrity of a home and the health of its occupants. Termites, for example, can cause significant damage to the structural wood of a home if left unchecked. Other pests, such as mice and rats, can damage wiring and insulation, posing a fire hazard. They can also carry diseases, which can be transmitted to humans through bites or contact with contaminated surfaces. It is important to have a professional pest inspection completed before purchasing a home to identify any existing or potential pest issues. A pest inspector will look for signs of infestations, such as droppings, nests, and damage to wood and other building materials. They will also look for potential entry points and conditions that may attract pests, such as excess moisture or standing water. If the inspection reveals the presence of pests, you should consider negotiating with the seller to have the pests treated or for a credit towards the cost of treatment. You may also want to consult with a real estate lawyer to determine your rights and options as a buyer. In addition, you should consider the long-term cost of pest control and make sure it is factored into your budget for maintaining the home. Pest control can be expensive, and it is important to have a plan in place to address any future pest issues. Selling a Home With Pest Issues If you are selling a home that has pest issues, it is important to be proactive in addressing the problem and transparent with potential buyers. Pest infestations can be a major concern for buyers, as pests can cause damage to the structure of the home and create health problems for the occupants. The first step in selling a home with pest issues is to have the pests professionally treated. A pest control company can figure out how bad the problem is and suggest a plan for treatment. Make sure to do what they tell you to do and give the treatment enough time to work. It is also a good idea to have the home re-inspected  to ensure that the pests have been effectively eliminated. Next, it is important to disclose the pest issue to potential buyers. Most states require sellers to tell buyers about any major problems, like pest infestations, that they are aware of. This can be done through a property disclosure statement, which should be provided to potential buyers as part of the home sale process. It’s important to be honest and clear in your disclosure, because not telling the truth about known major flaws can cause legal problems in the future. It is also a good idea to provide documentation of the pest treatment, such as receipts or a certificate of treatment. This will show that you have taken steps to deal with the pest problem, which can help buyers feel less worried. Lastly, you might want to think about giving the buyer a credit toward the cost of future pest control. This can help ease their concerns and make the home more attractive to potential buyers. If you can’t offer credit, you might have to lower the price of the home to make up for the cost of pest control. It is important to be flexible and open to negotiation in order to make the sale. Final Thoughts In the end, whether or not you buy a home with pest problems will depend on your personal situation and how willing you are to take risks. If you are okay with how much it will cost and how much work it will take to get rid of the pests and are sure that the problem can be solved, you might want to think about making the purchase. However, if the pest issue is significant or the cost of treatment is prohibitive, it may be best to look for a home without pest issues.
Can I Sell my House During Foreclosure Introduction For someone who is unable to keep up with mortgage payments or other liens on the home, the foreclosure process is frequently drawn out and difficult. For those who are currently going through this process, there may be ways to continue without losing everything. Because of this, the people who live in the house can stay there until the dispute is completely settled. The homeowner should stay in their home, talk to a real estate lawyer, and do research to avoid a situation in which debts may still be owed for different reasons. This might result in a better outcome. The house can still be sold for a profit while the foreclosure process is ongoing. The current owner may sell the property for more than what is owed in mortgage payments if the property has not yet been sold through an auction. This would then generate enough income to pay off the mortgage debt and leave money on the table to buy a new home or rent or lease an existing one. This has to be completed, though, before the property is sold at auction to fund the foreclosure process. This calls for prompt action and proper documentation Aspects to Consider with Foreclosure A bank agent who starts the foreclosure process may be contacted by someone who is unable to make the required mortgage or loan payments to keep the account open. The homeowner may have other options, though, as these processes can take months or even years, depending on a number of factors. In some circumstances, the financial lending company may look for an alternative to foreclosure. It’s possible that a payment extension will be given. It might be possible to refinance or make a new payment plan by adding to the original agreement. Before leaving the property to foreclosure, it is best to get in touch and talk with the company to discuss any potential alternate routes. Others look at the contract for the lending facility to see what might be possible based on the fine print. To make sure that the payments are made at a lower interest rate or payment amount, another company may be contacted, or there may be a grace period to get the needed funds. Before taking any other action, it is best to seek the advice of a real estate attorney if this is not possible. He or she might explain that the best course of action might be to sell the property. However, the homeowner might only have a limited amount of time to do so. This means that before continuing with a sale before an auction, he or she should make sure that all of that information is known. Hiring a Real Estate Lawyer or Agent While the home is going through the foreclosure process, a seasoned and knowledgeable real estate agent might be able to get in touch with the lending institution and try to negotiate so that the property has time to sell. This may be a good way for the agent in charge of the case to make sure the homeowner gets their money, even if the bank or another institution won’t work with them. Before the sale can happen, a realtor might need to conduct a market analysis on the property to determine its true value. Then, to bargain with the bank, third-party authorization forms are typically required. In general, it is preferable to sell the house for a profit as opposed to a short sale or auction, where the owner receives nothing after the house is bought by the buyer. Due to the foreclosure process costing the company money and not always recovering all of the money owed, lending institutions believe working with the sale is a better alternative than going through with the foreclosure. It might take 90 to 120 days to complete a short sale in which the owner receives no money. During this time, the homeowner may still be making mortgage payments. Depending on the state in which the house is located, the foreclosure process can take weeks or months to complete. The completion of all paperwork can occasionally take up to or even longer than a year. Depending on the state, the owner usually has up to 90 days to fix a late payment so that the problem can be fixed and business can go on as usual. A realtor or real estate agent should be hired to help sell the house if this is not possible. A real estate lawyer should be hired to handle these things from start to finish to make sure that everything is valid, legal, and done the right way.
Closing Costs – What to Expect When you sell your house, there are many hidden closing costs that can eat into your profits. This article highlights what those common closing costs are. From agent commissions to transfer taxes, it’s important to be aware of all the potential expenses. One of the biggest costs you can expect is the real estate commission. This is a fee paid to the agent who represents the buyer. The commission is typically a percentage of the sale price, so it can add up to a significant amount of money. Fortunately, many closing costs are tax-deductible, and they can be offset against the proceeds of the sale. However, it’s important to be aware of all the potential costs involved so you can budget accordingly. Below are some of the most common closing costs and how you can budget accordingly: Agent commissions: Realtor commissions are the fees real estate agents charge for their services. The fee is typically a percentage of the total sale price of the home, and it is paid at closing. While realtor commissions can vary depending on the agent and the market, they are typically around 5-6% of the sale price. For example, on a $200,000 home, the realtor commission would be $10,000-$12,000. Realtor commissions are negotiable, and some sellers may negotiate a lower rate. However, it is important to remember that the real estate agent is providing a valuable service and is entitled to fair compensation. It is important to understand realtor commissions so you can factor it into your budget. Appraisal fee:  A home appraisal is an important part of the closing process on your home purchase. The appraiser will visit the property and assess the value of the home, taking into account factors such as the location, condition of the property, and recent comparable sales in the area. This appraisal will be used to determine the amount of closing costs that the buyer will need to pay. In some cases, the appraised value of the home may be lower than the purchase price, in which case the buyer may need to negotiate with the seller to bring the price down to match the appraisal. In other cases, the appraised value may be higher than the asking price, giving the buyer some negotiating power when it comes to closing costs. Either way, it is important to have a clear understanding of your home’s value before heading into closing. Legal fees: You may need to hire a lawyer to handle the legal aspects of your sale, or if you are selling directly to a buyer.. Their fees will vary depending on the complexity of the transaction and the location of the property. In some cases, the seller is responsible for paying all the legal fees associated with the sale, this includes any fees associated with the transfer of ownership of the property. Title insurance: This is a type of insurance that protects the seller against any claims made on the title to your property. It is typically required by the lender if you have a mortgage. The exact amount you will pay as a seller will depend on the specifics of your title insurance policy. However, knowing the typical closing costs can help make sure you’re not caught off guard. Mortgage discharge fee: If you have a mortgage on the property, you will need to pay a fee to have it discharged. This fee is typically around $200-$300. These fees are a common closing cost associated with refinancing your home. Discharge fees are paid to the lender to cancel an existing mortgage and create a new one. The fee is typically a percentage of the total loan amount but can vary depending on the lender. Be sure to ask about the fee and get an estimate from your lender before making any decisions about refinancing. Property taxes: One often forgotten potential closing cost is property taxes. Depending on the location of the property and the value of the home, property taxes can be quite expensive. In some cases, they can even exceed the mortgage payments! As a result, it’s important to be aware of the property tax situation before you purchase a property because they must be paid in full before the sale can be completed. Credit report: One cost that is often overlooked is the cost of ordering a credit report. A credit report is necessary because lenders use credit report scores to determine if buyers qualify for a loan and what interest rate they receive. While the cost of ordering a credit report may seem insignificant, it can add up – especially if you’re closing on multiple properties. For example, if you’re closing on a home and an investment property, you’ll need to order two credit reports. The cost of ordering two credit reports can range from $30-$50, depending on the provider. Pest inspection: A pest inspection can help identify any potential problem areas like termites and dry rot from pests, which could lead to costly repairs down the road. This will help uncover any hidden issues and help you with negotiating repairs or treatment prior to closing. Recording fees: To finalize the sale, you will need to pay recording fees. This amount is charged by your local government for registering the deed to your new home. Utility bills: Any outstanding utility bills will need to be paid before the property changes hands. These are the fees associated with finalizing the purchase, and they can add up quickly. utility bills are one of the most common closing costs. If you’re buying a home that is already occupied, you’ll need to pay for the utilities that have been used, through the date of closing. This can include things like electricity, gas, water, and trash service. In some cases, you may also be responsible for paying the seller’s utility bills if they haven’t been paid up to date to ensure you can have services turned on in your name. As you can see, there are a number of different closing costs that can add up when selling your house. It’s important to be aware of all of them so that you can budget accordingly and avoid any nasty surprises at the end of the process.

What Is My House Worth?

There’s a short answer to this question that you’re not going to like: Your house is worth whatever someone is willing to pay.

While that’s not helpful to your current situation it is actually the key to understanding the ability to properly value a home. Professional real estate investors have many a \large array of tools and technologies available to assist us in determining a home’s value, but what if you don’t have any of those things? What do you do as a homeowner when you want to determine what a fair value for your house is.

There’s a process and it’s not exceptionally difficult. But first, you should know…

Zillow’s “Zestimate” Is Not a Realistic Depiction of Your Home’s Value

Zillow is a fantastic resource for a lot of things, property values is not one of them. This is a well- understood fact among industry professionals. I can prove this to be true incidentally and I can use Zillow to do it. One of the data points that Zillow provides is historic purchases and their purchase price. As an exercise, please do the following:

    • Go to Zillow and look up a house that you know has sold recently in your neighborhood.
    • One of the tabs in the property details is “Price / Tax History” – note the sale price of the house.
    • Now, compare the sale price of the house (remember, it needs to be recent) against the Zestimate.

Did they match? Of course not. In fact, was it even close? There is a good chance that there is a pretty big gap. I’m willing to bet it was off by at least $10k and probably a lot more. This isn’t me knocking Zillow, that’s actually a really impressive thing for a computer algorithm to do and the fact that they get as close as they do is noteworthy. However, the numbers they provide are broad benchmarks and can’t be used when you’re trying to determine your home’s true value.

So now what? Here’s how you can value your house “for real”. The quickest and easiest way to determine the value of your house is to look at comparable sales.

Step 1: Find Recent Sales In Your Area

What has sold in your neighborhood recently? Timing is absolutely key because of how often the Real Estate market changes. You’re looking for sale dates that are, at an absolute minimum, within the last six months and preferably the last three.

The other important note to this step is that “your area” means your immediate neighborhood. If you can stretch your geography a little and find some homes in the nice custom lots that isn’t going to do you any good because those properties aren’t comparable to yours. Make sure to find houses that are in your neighborhood.

Step 2: Look For Model Matches

Homes can be categorized by a number of features. Each of these features can impact the value and projected purchase price of a house. The number of bedrooms and bathrooms, garage bays, floors (stories), available amenities, etc. will all have an impact on the value of the home. What’s really interesting in the world of Real Estate is that in many cases this impact is predictable.

While you might not be able to find houses that are exactly like yours in every way try to narrow your list down to homes that are similar. If your house is a 3/2 (three bedrooms, two bathrooms) start there. Try to narrow down your list to houses with similar square footage and basic home “offerings”.

Step 3: Narrow Down Your Findings By Quality

Now that you have a list of homes you’re going to want to weed some out. Take a look at each listing and determine what the condition / quality of the home was when it sold. You can usually find these pictures online pretty easily, especially because it’s relatively safe to assume that the house was on MLS while it was for sale.

Take a look at some pictures of the house online and weed out any houses that aren’t comparable to your own. This means that if your house hasn’t been updated in the past 15 years you can’t use a home that has had a full kitchen remodel. The same is true in the opposite direction, if your house has had work done on it and you’ve done a good job keeping it up to date make sure not to compare against a house that needs some “TLC”.

Step 4: Time To Do Some Math

Now that you have a list of comparable properties we need to break down what these homes are actually worth. Hopefully you have at least three or four properties to work with, if not you might want to return to steps 2 and 3 and broaden your criteria a little.

For each house you need to find the price per square foot that was paid for the house. This is relatively simple math. If the house sold for $250,000 and it was 1,600 square feet then the price per square foot is: $156.25. Here’s the formula:

Purchase price [divided by] square footage [equals] price per square foot

$250,000 / 1,600 = $156.25

Do that for each house on your list. You’ll notice that the price per square foot is slightly different for each home. When you’re done, determine the average price per square foot by adding together each result and then dividing by the number of homes. For example, if your results looked like this:

    • Home #1: $156.25
    • Home #2: $149.50
    • Home #3: $160

Average = $465.75 / 3 = $155.25

The average cost per square foot for comparable homes in your neighborhood is $155.25. Take that number and multiply it by the number of square feet in your house and you have your realistic home value.

Things to Look Out For

There are a number of “issues” you might encounter when you do this exercise. The hardest issue to deal with is the data outliers. For example, using the data set from “Step 4” what would happen if you had a “Home #4” but its price per square foot ended up being $85? That’s a red flag that there’s something else at work and you should probably look at the house to figure out why it’s such a substantial deviation from the other homes.

Does it back up to a major road? Are there issues with the house that you can’t see in the pictures? Sometimes small things can actually throw off a home’s value in a big way. For example, in neighborhoods with cluster mailboxes, in some cases the home (or homes) directly in front of the mailbox experience a hit to their value because people don’t want to be next to an area that’ll have such a consistent stream of traffic. This is especially true for folks with children.

Here’s the important thing to note: you shouldn’t discount the home from your data set until you can figure out the “why”. What if, in this hypothetical scenario, homes 1 through 3 all sold five months ago and home #4 sold a week ago. If there’s nothing else wrong with it that single data set might be an indication of declining home values.

The same is true in the opposite direction. If your average price per square foot is around $150 and there’s a house that sold for $200 per foot make sure you find out why before you include it in your data. Otherwise you’re just setting yourself up for failure.

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If you need help selling your house please let us know. We can do immediate cash sales or traditional market sales. We’re the best in the business and we’re here to help you succeed! Contact us today for a free, fair cash offer on your home.