Tips & Tools

8 Reasons to use A REALTOR®
  • A REALTOR® has the most information in one place about what ison the market, including homes listed by other REALTORS. You won't waste time looking at unsuitable homes.
  • A REALTOR® helps you determine how much home you can afford, how you can acquire the down payment and what financing options may be open to you.
  • A REALTOR® can help you find the home best suited to your needs - size, style, features, location, accessibility to schools, transportation, shopping, etc.
  • A REALTOR® can supply information on real estate values, taxes, utility costs, municipal services and facilities.
  • A REALTOR® can suggest simple changes that could make a prospective home more suitable for you and improve its utility and value.
  • A REALTOR® has no emotional ties to a home, can be objective about it and can point out its advantages and disadvantages.
  • A REALTOR® acts as an agent between you and the seller to present offers and counter-offers until an agreement is reached.
  • A REALTOR® is bound by a Code of Ethics and pledged to protect and promote the interest of the buyer by providing fair treatment for all parties involved in the transaction.

Home Selling Tips
  • Now that your home is for sale, we suggest you read these helpful hints. They will make the selling of your home a more pleasant experience for all of us.
  • Make good first impressions, The grounds should be properly maintained summer or winter. Have the lawn mowed and raked, shrubs trimmed, driveway and sidewalks swept or shoveled clean and all debris removed from property.
  • Arrange shades or drapes to give a maximum amount of light in dark rooms. Replace all burned out light bulbs and repair faulty switches. Light colors add cheerfulness to dark rooms, especially kitchens.
  • Badly cracked plaster, loose door knobs, crooked light fixtures are among the small items that can be easily repaired. Small things sometimes hinder a sale more than large repairs.
  • Display your storage and utility space by removing all unnecessary accumulations in attic, stairways, basement and garage, They will appear much larger than they actually are.
  • Correct faulty plumbing, Leaky faucets can discolor porcelain and call attention to plumbing defects.
  • Minor redecorating is recommended, if needed, such as painting, rug shampooing, etc. It will create a much more appealing appearance.
  • Keep radios and televisions off or turned down during the showing to eliminate any possible distraction of the prospect.
  • If you have pets, it's recommended they be kept out of the way or out of the house, if possible. Some people are uneasy around animals and they may detract from the prospects attention.
  • Your home should be comfortably warm in cold weather and moderately cool in hot weather, thru air conditioning if available, or any other alternative measures.
  • Apologies should never be made for any adverse appearance of your home, It only emphasizes the defects.
  • Buyers ask a great many questions of our representatives when being shown through a home and most prefer to do this in privacy. The inspection should proceed without your immediate presence. The buyer usually feels more relaxed. If you insist on being present, please don't discuss terms, price, etc. We will handle these details.
  • It is important to furnish us with accurate figures on taxes and utilities and inform us of any recent major improvements such as a new roof, driveway, etc.
  • Remember, if a reasonable offer is presented, it is wise to negotiate immediately, it may never be repeated.
  • Always be prepared to show your property, If you delay a prospect, it may lose you the sale, Your real estate salesperson will always arrange appointments with you in advance.
  • Always keep your sales agent informed of where you may be reached at all times.
  • Finally, may we remind you, all our staff and years of experience are available to furnish you expert advice on any problems or questions that may arise.
 

Glossary of Real Estate Terms
  • Abstract of title — A synopsis of the history of a title, indicating all changes of ownership and including liens, mortgages, charges, encumbrances, encroachments, or any other matter that might affect the title. In some states the buyer is given a copy at the closing.
  • Affidavit of title—A sworn written statement signed by the seller stating that he owns the property, has clear title to it, and therefore has the right to sell it
  • Agreement of sale—A written agreement by which a buyer agrees to buy and a seller agrees to sell a certain piece of property under the terms and conditions stated therein. Commonly called a contract.
  • Amortization—The gradual paying out of a loan through regular fixed payments over a period of time.
  • Appraisal—The estimate of a disinterested qualified professional as to the current market value of a property. The term also refers to the report that sets forth the estimate.
  • Assessment—A tax or charge on a property to pay for a portion of a specific improvement such as streets, sidewalks, or sewers.
  • Binder—An agreement to purchase a piece of property involving a small deposit to show good faith. It should always include a statement to the effect that the agreement is "subject to formal contracts to be drawn."
  • Cancellation - Any clause in a contract that allows the buyer or seller to cancel the contract if a certain specified condition or situation occurs. The mortgage contingency is a cancellation clause since it allows the buyer to cancel the contract if he cannot obtain a mortgage.
  • Chain of title - A list of all the transfers of title as far back as records are available.
  • Chattel - Items of personal property, such as furniture, appliances, chandeliers, that are not permanently affixed to the house. If included in a real estate sale, each piece must be specifically listed in the contract.
  • Closing - The meeting of all concerned parties in order to transfer title. The date when the buyer takes title to the property.
  • Closing costs - Various fees and expenses, not including the price of the home, payable by the seller and the buyer at the time of a real estate closing—e.g., brokerage commissions, title insurance premiums, and inspection, appraisal, deed recording, and attorney fees.
  • Commission - The payment given a real estate broker for his services. Commission is usually paid at the closing.
  • Contract - An agreement between two parties. To be valid a contract must be dated; must be in writing; and must include a consideration, a description of the property, the place and date of delivery of the deed, and all terms and conditions that were mutually agreed upon. It must also be executed (signed) by all concerned parties.
  • Deed - A written instrument that conveys title to real property. Easement - A right-of-way or access. The right of one party to cross or use for some specified purpose the property of another party.
  • Escrow - Money or documents held by a third party until specific conditions of an agreement or contract are fulfilled. The earnest money paid by the buyer with the signing of the contract is usually held in escrow until all contingencies in the contract are met.
  • Foreclosure - The selling of a property to satisfy the debt of a mortgage. In order to force the sale, the mortgagee (lender) must file a Lis pendens with the county clerk, thus giving due notice to the mortgagor (borrower).
  • Interest - A fee paid for the use of money. It is usually calculated as a percentage of the principal.
  • Lease - A contract that allows one party the possession of real estate for a specified period of time in return for a consideration (usually rent) paid to the other party.
  • Lien - A recorded notice that there is a debt on a piece of property. This debt could be a judgment mortgage, back taxes, unpaid accounts, etc.
  • Listing - The employment of a real estate broker to sell a piece of property. A piece of property for sale.
  • Market value - Generally accepted as the best price that a ready, willing, and able buyer will pay, and the lowest price a ready, willing, and able seller will accept In other words, the dollar figure at which there is a meeting of the minds.
  • Mortgage - A legal document that creates a lien upon a piece of property.
  • Multiple listing - An arrangement among real estate brokers to make- their listings available to each other. If a sale results, the agreed-upon commission is divided between the listing broker and the selling broker.
  • Offer - A proposal, oral or written, to buy a piece of property at a specified price.
  • Points - Sometimes called discount. This is a fee that the lending institution charges for the mortgage. One point is 1 percent of the face amount of the mortgage.
  • Qualifying a buyer - The real estate agent's process of checking out the buying potential of a customer. It is necessary to know family income, available down payment money, and all outstanding debts in order to accurately "qualify" a buyer.
  • Right-of-way - An easement; the right of one party to cross or in some way use the property of another party.
  • Survey - The measurement of a piece of land by civil engineers or surveyors to determine its area and attest to its boundaries.
  • Title - Actual ownership; the right of possession; evidence of ownership.
  • Title search - A professional examination of public records to determine the chain of ownership of a particular piece of property and to note any liens, mortgages, encumbrances, easements, restrictions, or other factors that might affect the title.
  • Zoning ordinances - Municipal ordinances that limit and regulate the character and uses of private property in a given area.