Frequently Asked Questions
Realtors get A LOT of questions - here we share recent questions our clients have asked, and answers that we hope will help you reach your real estate goals.
Got questions of your own? Just get in touch and we can talk!
Is it a good idea to have a home inspection before putting my house on the market?
Like many things in life, it depends. Are you in the financial position to repair every little thing that's discovered? More importantly, a pre-listing inspection may reveal a significant defect you'll be required to disclose to potential buyers and affect your sale price.
A good rule of thumb for getting a home listing-ready? Focus on servicing larger-ticket items like furnaces, boilers, and air-conditioning/HVAC units before putting your home on the market, which will allow you to show a potential buyer the systems are in good working order, regardless of the age.
When selling your home, the best first step is talking with a realtor, so why not give me a call at 781-704-3193 to discuss your specific situation and develop an action plan?
I have tenants who are in the midst of househunting. How can I ensure that I can get a tenant when they purchase a home?
Great question! No doubt you are happy for your tenants - I think we can all agree that becoming a homeowner is a positive step for those tenants. Communication is key here. Just because they are house hunting does not necessarily mean you will be left high and dry without rent. First, it will depend how quickly they find something. When that happens (and depending on how much time is left on the lease), I always advise all parties to have a conversation about how best to move forward. Options could include a settlement, a subletter, or perhaps their timing is perfect for you to get into the unit and make some needed repairs or renovations. They want to move. You don't want to miss out on rent. There is always a way to work it out! And when in doubt, give me a call and we can talk through your specific concerns. ;)
Should I sell my current home before
buying a new one?
Selling & buying simultaneously can be tricky, but it is definitely possible with the right team in place.
First, you need to talk to your lender to see if you are in a financial position to buy first and then sell your home after you move into the new one. The lender will need to qualify you to carry 2 mortgages at the same time. It doesn't mean you have to wait for the new home to close to sell the existing one, but it gives you the option to sell at your leisure.
If you cannot financially carry 2 mortgages, then you have a couple of options to buy/sell at the same time. You can try and buy first, with what is called a "Subject to Sell" contingency clause in your offer. This means that your Offer to Purchase on the new home is "subject to selling" your existing home. If you cannot sell your home in the timeline determined in the contract, then your purchase is null and void.
Your other option is to list your home for sale with a caveat that your sale is "Subject to the Seller Finding Suitable Housing". This means that if a buyer wants to buy your home, they need to wait a pre-determined amount of time for you to find a new home to purchase. If you cannot find a home in that timeline, then the buyer has the right to walk away from the sale.
Both of these options are available but please keep in mind that the chances of their success is heavily dependent upon the state of the market at the time you are making your decision. You should always reach out to a professional realtor to discuss the best options for your individual situation.
Should we rent in a new area before committing to buying a home there?
Renting is a great way to get a feel for an area, especially if you are unsure of a neighborhood, school system, or job commute. Renting is also a great way to try a different style of living - whether you are downsizing and want to try a condo, or if you are done with maintenance and want to have an apartment and a landlord to take care of everything.
What are some factors that go into reviewing multiple offers?
Winning a multiple bid situation is rarely only about price. Terms play a significant role when competing against other buyers for a home, especially -
1 ) Timing: How quickly you can get to the closing table (weeks vs. months). Financing: If mortgage financing applies to all the competing offers, sellers will compare your downpayment size to other offers and may opt for a lower offer if the downpayment is larger.
And 2 ) Contingencies: Waiving home inspection or an offer that's cash-based work in a buyer's favor, as each may facilitate a quicker closing.
There are many factors at play when crafting an offer that stands out from the rest, and I've helped many buyers win out in multiple offer scenarios. Give me a call, and let's chat about your needs.
What COVID precautions are sellers taking
at Open Houses?
[As of June 2021 these precautions have been lifted - however, 4Squares will continue to respond to our community's health situation and any future regulations.]
At my open houses, I am working with the Sellers to ensure maximum safety, both for the homeowner and the open house attendees.
I am collecting contact information for all attendees should we need to contact anyone after the fact.
Everyone must use hand sanitizer upon entry as well as wear a face mask.
Lysol wipes are used as a barrier to open closets, cabinets, and hand rails.
Depending on the size of the property, no more than 2 or 3 parties in total in the house at any time, and make sure the attendees are spread out throughout the house/not sharing the same rooms at the same time.
Lastly, when possible, have all attendees use a "one way" system - so everyone is coming in the front door and out a back or side door to ensure a smooth flow of traffic.
I also offer virutal tours, and I'm always happy to arrange a private showing that respects the privacy & safety of all parties - at any property.
How much of a down payment do we need to buy a home? We don't have 20% - does this limit our buying power?
Many home buyers believe that they won't qualify to buy a home if they don't have a 20% down payment. In reality, the average first-time homebuyer puts down just 6%. As a buyer agent, I connect homebuyers to lenders offering loans that require as little as 3% down & sometimes zero down. My goal for you is to become a homeowner on your terms. If that means you can get approved for a house with a smaller down payment and become a homeowner sooner, that's often the right choice.
Have more questions? Contact me to discuss your options.
My friends used the Seller's agent to buy their house and got a discount. Why do I need my own agent?
A Seller's agent only has one job - to get the Seller the best terms and highest price for their home. They have fiduciary responsibility to their client only. Although they, by law, have to treat any unrepresented Buyer ethically and fairly, Seller Agents have no fiduciary duty to that Buyer to ensure they get the home for the Buyer's best price or terms. When you work directly with the Seller's agent, you are essentially hiring someone to work against you.
As an Accredited Buyer's Representative®, I have the knowledge and experience to make your dream of buying a home a reality, and I am serving you, not selling you in the process. Learn more about how Buyer Agency works by emailing me at jen@4SquaresRE.com for a copy of my "Love the Way You Live Home Buyer's Guide."