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When is the best time of year to sell my home?

Our market has experienced such a shortage of available homes over the past couple of years, that there hasn’t been a bad time to sell. We always experience a higher buyer demand from March through May. And typically, the inventory of available homes is at its highest in July. The inventory is at its lowest in November/December. If you are considering selling your home, The Wheaton Team can show you the market trends for your neighborhood to determine the best time to sell.

Who pays the agent’s commission?

In most cases, the Seller pays both the listing Agent and Buyer agent commissions which are negotiated through the listing agreement. However, in rare cases, a Buyer may elect to hire a Buyer/Tenant Agent at his/her cost.

How much money do I need for a down payment?

There has been a myth about down payments amongst home buyers and the public. Depending on your situation, you may not need any saved-up cash to purchase a home. VA loans are a loan option that is available to veterans that do not require a down payment and allow veterans to finance 100% of the home value. If you are not a veteran, do not be discouraged! There are loan options that allow you to put aslittle as $1000 down on a home. If you have any questions about loan options and down payments reach out to a member of The Wheaton Team and we can help get you in contact with a great local lender.

How much is the Earnest Money and can I get it back?

Traditionally Earnest Money is calculated at 1% of the purchase price of the home. However,this amount is negotiable and can be more or less depending on the circumstance (purchasing anew build, a very desirable home, financial situation of the buyer, etc.). Usually your Earnest Money can be released based off of the terms of the contract if you terminate accordingly. Formore information on Earnest Money speak with an agent on The Wheaton Team.

What improvements should I do to my home that will get me the most return?

Typically, the best improvements for the most return on investment are to upgrade the kitchen and the master bath. Every home is unique, so we are happy to come out and guide you for your specific property as to what will bring the best return on your investment.

Why do I need a Buyers Agent?

A Buyers Agent is an advocate for you and your best interests in a complicated transaction. A Buyers Agent is skilled in knowing the market, home values, will guide you through the home inspection process and negotiate in your best interest. Their services are free for Buyers and a good Buyers Agent can save a buyer a lot of time, and money!

What does an appraisal entail?

The lender hires the appraiser to be sure that the home will appraise the purchase price to protect the lenders investment in the loan. The appraiser will measure the home for finished and total square footage, and then find comparable homes in the area that have sold in the last 6 months that are similar in age, square footage, location and condition as the subject home. They will make adjustments to the comparable homes as necessary.

What happens in a home inspection and how much does it cost?

A home inspection is a visual analysis of a home’s condition (roof, exterior, interior, appliances, heating/cooling, electrical, and plumbing) performed by an independent home inspector of the Buyer’s choice. The fees can vary, so you should compare pricing and services before hiring a home inspector. Services such as radon testing, sewer scopes, water testing (for homes with private wells), etc., can be done at an additional cost. Some inspections require specialized or state certified inspectors such as On Site Wastewater System (septic) inspections, Methamphetamine testing, Mold testing, Engineering/Structural analysis, Lead-Based Paint testing, and Asbestos testing.

What is PMI?

PMI is known as private mortgage insurance. This is a lenders protection in the event that you default on your primary mortgage and the home goes into foreclosure. Lenders typically require PMI for mortgages with less than a 20% down payment. PMI is usually paid monthly within your mortgage payment.

What is the escrow account?

When a Buyer delivers the earnest money to the title company, it is deposited into an escrow account where it stays until closing or the termination of the contract. Funds are received into the account from the Buyer or the Buyer’s mortgage lender and dispersed to the Seller and/or the Seller’s mortgage lender upon closing and all outstanding debts/fees are settled before turning over possession of the home to the Buyer.

What is an escalation clause?

In a multiple-offer situation, an escalation clause is a technique a Buyer may use to try to outbid another offers. The clause “escalates” the offered price by some amount over the nearest competing offer up to a certain purchase price. One caution would be that an escalated price may push the offer to more than the home will appraise for. That’s when your Agent needs to guide you based on market prices for that area.

Should I go to open houses without my realtor?

Attending an open house without your Realtor is absolutely fine if you are going out to look and get an idea of neighborhoods and home features. However, it’s important to be clear with the Agent hosting the open house that you are represented by an Agent. One great way to search open houses is to present the business card from your Agent at The Wheaton Team to the Agent hosting the open house. We are happy to supply our business cards to you to supply to open house Agents or to your friends and family who are looking to purchase or sell their home. If you find a home you love or are interested in getting more information on, reach out to your agent at The Wheaton Team and we will schedule a private showing with you so we can see the home with you and function as your trusted advisor.

Why would I need a realtor to buy a new construction home?

Home Builders employ sales associates to work in the model homes and assist Buyers. However, these people work on behalf of the Builder and they are not required to be licensed Realtors. Even the contracts that builders use do not have to be approved by the Colorado Real Estate Commission, and are written to protect the Builder, not the Buyer. When issues arise, it is important for Buyers to have an advocate working solely on their behalf. The Wheaton Team is experienced in working with new construction homes–everything from town homes to luxury custom homes. We understand what problems may arise and are with our clients through every phase of planning and construction.

Do I have to disclose everything I know about the house?

Yes, it is always the best idea to disclose all of the information you know of. If you have had a past issue with your home but have made repairs, we at The Wheaton Team recommend that you disclose the past issue as well as the remedy/repair. In the case of disclosure, it is always best to supply all of the known information.

What is radon?

Radon is a colorless and odorless gas that is caused by the breakdown of soil and rock in the earth’s surface. It is the second leading cause for lung cancer after tobacco use. Radon is present outdoors and indoors and if present at high levels can be detrimental to your health. The EPA recommends radon levels higher than 4.0 pCi/L be mitigated. The Wheaton Team is here to help refer you to professionals in radon mitigation and radon testing.

Should I get a sewer scope?

We at The Wheaton Team recommend Buyers perform sewer scopes when purchasing their next home. Sewer scopes cost buyers around $150 to evaluate the integrity of the sewer line and provide Buyers with a video reference of the sewer line. Many times, the sewer line will function properly, however there are instances where the line will need to be cleaned or repaired/replaced. These sewer repairs can range from the low end at $250 to the high end of $20,000. Sewer issues are not to be taken lightly and do not get better over time so we recommend knowing before you buy whether there are issues to be addressed.

Tell me about HOA docs…

Buyers are given the Home Owners Association Documents to review after they go under contract. Your Realtor should make sure you as a Buyer have a good general idea of what the HOA allows in the various neighborhoods before you submit an offer. As an example, if you must have a fenced back yard as you have children or dogs, the Buyer’s Agent can let you know what neighborhoods you may want to focus on that allow fences. Another example would be outside RV parking, a lot of neighborhoods do not allow those to be parked outside the home, so that is good to know before looking at neighborhoods which don’t allow for that. It is essential that Sellers who are in an active HOA, gather their HOA information and be ready to provide that information to the Buyer’s Agent by the HOA Deadline in the Contract to Buy and Sell. Sellers must provide current HOA covenants, bylaws, minutes and financial statements to the Buyers. Sellers need to current on their HOA dues and acknowledge if there is a special assessment coming up that has not yet occurred. HOA’s can put super liens on homes so it is imperative that the HOA dues are up to date.

What do I need to know about accepting an offer with a contingent sale?

This means that you retain the right to market your property, and if you get a better offer, you can accept it. However, you must give the current buyer a right of first refusal. That means the buyer gets a limited time (48 hours is common) to remove the contingency and close.

Can I buy a home before mine sells?

It may be possible for you to purchase a home before your home sells. In the current market it often difficult to get your offer accepted with a contingent offer. The best advice we can give you is to reach out to your local lender to help find out the best way for you to proceed with purchasing without selling. For more information you can reach out to your trusted advisor on The Wheaton Team and they can help get you in contact with a great lender.

Can I get the seller to pay my closing costs?

For Buyers who are tight on funds to close on a home asking Sellers to pay for their closing costs was once a common practice. However, with the intensity of the market in our region we do not often see offers accepted that ask for Sellers to pay for closing costs. Each situation is different and to properly evaluate the scenario you should speak with your Agent on The Wheaton Team and local lender.