Staging a home for sale is not a new concept, but it is a practice that has gained steam with our more challenging market. I see many home sellers confuse staging with decorating and consequently resisting the process and the recommendations of the staging professional. But the reality is that the moment you commit to marketing your home for sale, you need to commit to transforming your home into a place that potential buyers can easily picture as their home. This means that you need to be prepared to emotionally detach.
According to April 2017 statistics from Highland Lakes Association of Realtors, days on market is down just over 11% versus a year ago. To answer our question in the title, yes, homes are selling more quickly. You’ll notice inventory is down as are active listings. Also, fewer homes closed versus last year. In general economic terms, that should speed sales time since there is less to sell and buyers are still available. True in Burnet County in April 2017.
A Buyer Representation Agreement is a legal document that formalizes your working relationship with a particular buyer’s representative, detailing what services you are entitled to and what your buyer’s rep expects from you in return. While the language used in the document is formal, homebuyers should view it as an important and helpful tool for clarifying expectations, developing mutual loyalty, and most importantly, elevating the services you will receive.
Q: Where does earnest money go when I make an offer on a property?
A: Once your offer is accepted, your real estate agent will take the earnest money check to the designated title company where it is receipted and help in an escrow account until closing.
Q: Who picks the title company?
A: Choosing the title company for closing is a negotiable decision between the buyer and seller. Normally, the person who pays for the title insurance policy decides which title company to use.
Q: Can we use any old survey?
A: It is possible to use an existing survey if certain conditions are met. A T-47 Affidavit is used to disclose whether any changes have been made to the permanent property. The final decision on using a previous survey is ultimately made by the lender and the title company respectively.
Q: What if I am out of town on the contract’s closing date?
A: The closing date on the contract is an “on or before” date so you are able to close anytime before the designated date as long as the loan and title paperwork are ready.
Q: When is a contract considered “valid”?
A: An offer is considered accepted as a valid contract when both the buyer and seller have signed and all changes are initialed by both parties.
A seller of residential real estate in Texas must, under state law, disclose what the seller knows about the condition of the property. (See Texas Property Code Section 5.008.) This includes conditions known to the seller that would not be discovered by the purchaser making reasonable investigation of the property.
The seller’s disclosure notice statute contains 11 narrow exemptions. You’re not likely to come across these situations frequently. The most common of these exemptions apply to:
A builder of a new home
A trustee or executor of an estate
The lender after foreclosing on a property.
The statutory requirement to provide the notice does not apply to any lease transaction, no matter the duration of the lease period.
The statute does not require disclosure of deaths by natural causes, suicide, or accidents unrelated to the condition of the property.
Deaths caused by an accident related to a condition of the property are not covered by the “no duty” statute and most likely need to be disclosed. This is the case even if the condition has been remedied. For example, although it could be argued that a swimming-pool death may be related to the lack of a proper pool enclosure, a seller who installs a proper pool enclosure before the property is placed on the market should still consider disclosing the death, as it was related to a condition of the property.
Murder is not covered by this “no duty” statute either. Since a murder occurring on the property might be considered a material fact a buyer would want to know, it’s prudent for sellers to disclose.