Buying or Selling Soon?

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Are you going to be buying or selling a property soon? There are expenses that you may not have considered yet; such who’s responsible for paying which fees, what does a real estate professional do, or other common questions including:

What is the standard compensation structure for real estate professionals?
For the most part, real estate professionals are compensated by commission, based on a home’s selling price. Commission rates vary, as does how the sales commission will be divided between the agents on the selling and buying side of the transaction. When a seller signs a listing agreement, their contract is with a brokerage firm. All fees must pass through that brokerage firm. Typically, the seller’s representative—and your buyer’s rep—will be paid by the listing broker after the transaction closes.

What services can I expect to receive?
The terms vary from state to state, and each buyer’s representative can set their own guidelines within their state parameters and their brokerage practices. So you should clarify, preferably in writing, the services you are entitled to receive before you start viewing properties.  It’s also important to understand that if you do buy a property, your buyer’s rep will probably receive compensation through the listing broker.

Jean Groesbeck & Assoc. LLC in Old Town Anacortes has a full-time team of brokers who are available daily to work for you, whether you are buying or selling. Not only do we negotiate pricing based on trends in similar homes or within the area, we market your home to sell using professional photography, advertisements and online marketing, in addition to hosting showings, open houses, tackling the paperwork, inspections and more.

Do you know that statistically homes sold using a real estate professional net more of a profit than those transactions that are for sale by owner? Team Groesbeck can address any questions you have about the buying and selling processes, as well as put you in touch with local lenders and more!

Jean Groesbeck & Assoc. LLC is licensed under Coldwell Banker Bain and can be reached at (360) 941-3734, (360) 899-5027 or Jean@JeanGroesbeck.com.

 

Real Estate Terms Defined

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Both buying and selling a home can be intimidating experiences, especially if your Realtor® begins using terms with which you are not familiar, before really explaining them. Team Groesbeck’s goal as your Realtor® is to make the home buying or selling process as smooth as possible, beginning with defining a few terms for you!

Adjustable Rate Mortgage – An adjustable rate mortgage is one that has a fluctuating interest rate; they typically have a lower initial interest rate for a set time, then adjust according to an index.

Certificate of Title – This proves that the property is legally owned by the seller, and that no other party has any claims over it.

CMA – CMA’s (Comparative Market Analysis) are done by agents when you are looking to sell your home. They will put together a report to determine a fair asking price based on the current market and how other homes are doing in your area.

Comps – The term “comps” refers to properties that are comparable to your property. This takes into account the home’s size, close amenities and location, in addition to other factors.

Deed – The deed is a legal document proving transfer of ownership from the seller to the buyer.

Disclosures – Disclosures are details about the home that a seller must provide to a buyer. For example; if the basement often floods in heavy storms or if there is lead in the home, the seller would need to disclose this information.

Due Diligence – Due diligence refers to the buyers’ responsibility to research and verify details about the transaction. For example, it is the buyer’s responsibility to coordinate an inspection, and confirm that the information coming from the seller’s attorney and broker are legitimate.

Escrow – Escrow is the time period when purchase funds are released from one party to another and the transfer of the home is completed. The escrow company is a neutral third party who executes the transaction utilizing the purchase agreement and other documents.

Firm Commitment – A firm commitment is a promise from a lender that they will enter into an agreement with another entity (typically a buyer) within a certain period of time.

Fixture – Fixtures are items of value that are permanently attached or a part of a property. This can include lighting, carpeting, or landscaping; these items have the potential to cause disputes between the buyer and seller and are sometimes used as leverage for negotiations.

HOA Docs – Some homes fall under the jurisdiction of a Homeowner’s Association. In this case documents outlining the association’s regulations will be provided either by the association, or through your Realtor®.

Pre Qualification – Borrowers (home buyers) must go through a process where the lender confirms that the borrower qualifies for a loan, based on their credit history and current financial standing. This is done using only the information the buyer provides the lender. The amount for which one is pre-qualified is to be considered an estimate, and is not set in stone. This information does, however, show your Realtor® and the seller of the home in which you are interested that you are serious about the home buying process.

Pre Approval – Getting pre-approved is the next step, and is more involved than the pre-qualification process. The buyer will complete an official mortgage application with their chosen lender, and supply the lender with necessary documentation so an extensive check can be done on their financial background and current credit rating. You will be given an exact amount for which you are approved and completing both the pre-qualification and pre-approval process will allow you to know how much you can actually afford.

While these are only some of the many real estate terms, Jean Groesbeck & Assoc. LLC will guide you along the way to ensure your transaction runs smoothly.  Located in Old Town Anacortes, Team Groesbeck is available daily to work for you and can be reached at (360) 941-3734 or Jean@JeanGroesbeck.com.

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Improving Your Credit Score

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Content provided by Dean Hayes, Bay Equity Home Loans

One of the biggest misconceptions about buying a home is that you need perfect credit in order to qualify. In fact, many programs allow much lower credit scores when qualifying a home buyer. But there are still certain minimums that you have to meet. So, how do you go about improving your credit scores?

Click here to view the blog in its entirety.

 

Credit Reporting Changes May Improve Mortgage Approvals

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Content provided by Dean Hayes, Bay Equity Home Loans

There are some changes coming to credit reporting guidelines, and it could help more people qualify for a home mortgage.

Already, qualifying for a home mortgage is getting easier each year. Guidelines are being loosened, debt-to-income ratios raised, co-signed debt is easier to disregard, and reserve requirements lowered. It’s worth noting, however, that guidelines are no where near as Mortgage Credit Availability Index July 2017 loose at they were in 2006, which is a good thing. Yes, it’s harder to get a mortgage today, but it should be.

Click here to view the blog in its entirety.

For all of your real estate needs, contact Jean Groesbeck & Assoc. LLC, Licensed under Coldwell Banker Bain, in Old Town Anacortes: (360) 941-3734 or Jean@JeanGroesbeck.com.

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Can’t Qualify for a Home Mortgage Because You’re Self-Employed?

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Content provided by Dean Hayes, Bay Equity Home Loans

We all know the challenges that self-employed individuals have when it comes time to qualify for a home loan. Being self-employed, you have the opportunity to write off as many expenses as you can, which helps you show a lower net income and pay less federal income taxes.

Unfortunately, that works against you when it comes time to qualify for a home loan.

Click here to view the article in its entirety

For all of your real estate needs, contact Jean Groesbeck & Assoc. LLC, Licensed under Coldwell Banker Bain, in Old Town Anacortes: (360) 941-3734 or Jean@JeanGroesbeck.com.

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Top 5 Reasons People Fear Running their Credit Report

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Content provided by Dean Hayes, Bay Equity Home Loans

As a mortgage provider, we must run a credit report in order to have an accurate picture of how you might qualify for a home loan. Every now and then, I run into someone who is concerned about having their credit run. They want me to give them an idea of how they might qualify, but they don’t want me to pull their credit report. However, without it, anything we say is purely conjecture.

It’s just like going to see your doctor for an illness. She will want to have have a thorough evaluation (blood pressure, pulse, lab work) in order to provide an accurate analysis. Without that information, it’s malpractice.

The concerns that I see most people have about having their credit report ran can be summarized in 5 general categories.

Click here to view the article in its entirety

For all of your real estate needs, contact Jean Groesbeck & Assoc. LLC, Licensed under Coldwell Banker Bain, in Old Town Anacortes: (360) 941-3734 or Jean@JeanGroesbeck.com.

Homeownership: A savings lifeline

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Content from Dean Hayes, Bay Equity Home Loans

With home prices rising to all-time highs, many potential buyers may imagine drowning in a sea of monthly payments stretching across many years.

Naysayers bob to the surface with harrowing tales of home-buying gone wrong. If the down payment doesn’t get you – well the property taxes, maintenance and insurance surely will!

These so-called “savvy” investors say renters who dutifully put all money not spent on housing into stable investments – like mutual funds – may get a greater rate of return.

Criticism of home ownership as an instrument of wealth-building has understandably become louder in the last decade, after a Housing Bust that put more than 10 million homeowners upside-down, and 4 million more into foreclosure.

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What does FHA look for with an Appraisal?

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Content from Dean Hayes, Bay Equity Home Loans

When an FHA loan is being used, the appraiser has two objectives. The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) requires the appraiser to determine the current market value, as with any appraisal. But they also require a property inspection to make sure the home meets HUD’s minimum standards for health and safety.

Note that the appraiser does not replace your home inspection. The appraiser has a duty to report to your lender the comparable value of the home your buying as well as the overall condition of the home. Only a home inspector will do a thorough analysis of the condition of every aspect of your home.

HUD is mainly concerned that everything in the house functions properly and there are no health and safety issues. The basic concept of meeting FHA minimum requirements is that everything must work as it was designed to work.

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What is Title Insurance?

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Choosing The Right Mortgage Lender

Are you ready to buy a new home in 2016? If you are like most people in the United States, it is very likely that you will need a mortgage loan to purchase your new home. Shopping around for a good loan is as important as finding your dream home. Finding the right mortgage lender takes time and research but in the end it could potentially save you thousands of dollars.

Asking friends, family and co-workers for mortgage lender referrals can be helpful but their experience may be limited to just one transaction.  Your local Realtor® should be able to provide you with names of lenders who have proven their ability to offer good rates, low fees and close loans on time.  This is crucial especially in today’s mortgage lending environment with the new disclosure requirements which can prove challenging.

Selecting a mortgage lender should be based on more than just the lowest rate. Gather a few rate quotes, and then follow up with some research and interviews before you choose the lender who is right for you.

Here are some questions to ask a potential mortgage lender:

How long have you been in the mortgage business?  How long have you worked for this particular lender? How many loans have you originated and closed in the last year?

Do you have any special expertise?  Whatever type of loan you are seeking, look for a loan officer with experience in that type of loan. Not all lenders excel in all loan types.

What is the interest rate and APR at “par”?  Asking a lender to quote you an interest rate at “par” means without any loan fee or discount points included to buy the rate down.  This allows you to compare the APR (annual percentage rate) of more than one lender and better judge the true cost of the loan.

What is your lock-in policy? Find out when and how you can lock-in your interest rate.  Does your lender require deposit to lock, is it refundable?  Do they provide you with a written lock-in agreement?  Can you lock your rate by telephone, email or text? How long will your rate be locked for?  What happens if the closing is delayed with regard to your lock-in term.

 Do you work with a lot self-employed borrowers?  If you happen to be self-employed this is extremely important.  The more complicated your tax return is the more vital this is.  How good are they at evaluating tax returns? Believe it or not, there are many loan officers who are not skilled at this.

A good loan officer will get you to the closing table in a timely manner. They will communicate with you throughout the process and make sure your rate lock is protected or extended if need be. When you find a good loan officer you will also be finding a lender that has competitive mortgage rates and closing costs.

Don’t know where to begin looking for a home loan? Let us help you! We have a preferred lender right here in Anacortes who can help you get started. They provide competitive mortgage rates while giving excellent service to our clients.

Finding your dream home in Anacortes or Skagit County is easy with the help of our professional team of full time real estate agents. Let our team guide you in the right direction and show you the difference our 5 Star Real Estate Service can make in buying home in Anacortes and Skagit County. 

Call, text or email us today!

(360) 941-3734

Info@JeanGroesbeck.com