Flat Fee MLS Listing, the Pros and Cons

  1. What is a flat fee Multiple Listing Service (MLS) listing?

The MLS is an all-inclusive database shared by local Realtors. Agents can access this database to search for exactly what their buyers are looking for. This one resource provides Realtors with a significant advantage over anyone who is selling on their own. In fact, over 90% of buyers find their new homes through the MLS.

Real estate companies that offer flat fee MLS listings will input the information and pictures to the MLS for a fee which varies from between $99 and $995 depending on the level of services provided. However, a fee is typically offered to an agent who brings in a buyer. This fee can be any amount by law but is typically 2% to 2 ½% versus the 6% to 9% charged for full service listings.

  1. What is the difference between flat fee listings and full service Realtor listings?

The owner undertakes duties usually provided by a Realtor. These include taking pictures, providing promotional copy, gathering information about the property, identifying repairs and improvements that will promote the sale and increase the return on investment, deciding on the best marketable price, monitoring the market, price adjustments if and when necessary, Arraigning showings, negotiating with buyers directly, obtain legal counsel, facilitating inspections, possible renegotiating and whatever else is necessary to bring the sale to closing.

  1. What services are typically provided by flat fee brokers?

    Besides adding your listing to the regional MLS, the listing is typically syndicated to dozens of portal websites like Zillow, Trulia, Homes.com, AOLrealestate.com, etc. plus local real estate companies directly. Owner provided pictures that are added to the MLS and portal sites. A sign &/or lock box is usually provided.

    Some companies provide free renewal or listings that do not expire. If available in the area, companies will often provide appointment center services which provide a convenient means of scheduling showings. With higher priced listing packages more services are added.

  2. What are the downsides of flat fee listings?

    Selling by owner is a lot of work. Over half of owners who were successful report that they would not try to sell on their own again. This is because besides the work involved it may not improve the return on investment. Realtors have years of hard won experience. If they can’t typically provide their clients with a better return on their investment than the owners can themselves they would not survive in the profession. Besides the logistics that can reasonably be handled by an owner, there is a good deal of judgment required. One misstep and the deal often falls through. Inexperience, even in new licensed real estate agents, can cost thousands of dollars or the entire sale. Most brokerages provide close supervision and training for their new agents for at least the first year. The owner does not have this essential advantage. Flat fee brokers who offer remote support cannot do so with the same expertise that a Realtor that has personal knowledge of the local market and property can. Finally, beware of invoking procuring cause claims.

In spite of the work and uncertainty involved many sellers do manage to sell on their own using flat fee broker resources to maximize their housing investment greatly.

  1. How to proceed.

Contact a reputable flat fee MLS broker who you can speak with directly to answer specific questions. This brief article can only provide an overview of the process.

While for sale by owner packages vary from broker to broker here are some important considerations:

  • Broker should be experienced and knowledgeable about local market conditions to provide ready guidance and counsel.
  • Broker should be local and able to provide market data and referrals for attorneys, contractors, inspectors, etc.
  • Broker should be readily available 12/7.
  • Broker should be a direct MLS member where property is located not a portal site that remotely lists properties through affiliates.
  • An exclusive website should be included that sends independent buyers directly to the owner to save co-broke commission.
  • Appointment center showing scheduling services should be provided at no additional cost.
  • Owner should retain right to sell on their own without paying addition commission.
  • Changes or pauses to listing should be provided at no additional cost.
  • Listing should not expire until home is sold or taken off market by owner.
  • Electronic lock box and sign should be provided and delivered at no additional cost.
  • All inquires should be directed to the owner.
  • Professional quality photographic services should be available.
  • Owner supplied photos and videos should be enhanced by broker to the standards typically found on the MLS.
  • Broker should also offer full service upgrades with flat fee credited to final commission.
  1. Steps to closing
  • Engage local flat fee broker
  • Provide details and pictures
  • Approve listing on MLS and submit fee
  • Arrange showing with appointment desk
  • Negotiate offers
  • Obtain legal counsel (recommended)
  • Fulfill contact obligations. This is done with the help of the co-broker and your attorney.
  • Close with more proceeds than if you had listing full service

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg



Source by Dennis Maier

Townhomes for Sale

You can trace this word back to early England royalty where the term referred to a home that was kept „in town“ when the primary home was in the country. Today, in the United States, it is a single-family home with at least two floors. The house shares a wall with another townhouse. Although they are like a duplex, there is one difference. Townhouses are owned by an individual and duplexes are not. You can find townhomes for sale in areas where property prices are high and land is in short supply. Many times people will look at both condominiums and townhomes for sale because they think they are the same. There is a difference though. Yes, some townhouses are sold under the listing condominium but the difference is the form of ownership. If you purchase a condominium or a townhouse that is listed as a condominium, you will just own the inside of the building. You may own the property outside as well if you purchase it as a townhouse. It depends on the rules of the homeowner’s association.

Advantages

• Living in a townhouse you are flanked on either side with other homes can give you lower heating bill since only two of the townhouse have outdoor exposure directly

• If it is part of a homeowners association you have little responsibility in regards to maintaining the outside, which can mean less maintenance costs

• Townhomes for sale are less expensive to buy than a freestanding house, which is good when money is tight.

• Being two floors there is less noise below or above and more privacy

Disadvantages

• They are lower in value and if you sell your townhouse there is less profit to be made.

• If you have to sell your townhouse in a depressed market you could lose money

• You may be disturbed by your neighbor noise

• Have little space to garden and a small backyard

• You have less say about what the exterior appearance of your townhouse

• Because there are two sides, three if you live at the end of the row can have windows so there is less light in your townhouse.

• In certain real estate markets, buying townhomes for sale can be financially risky

• There may be homeowner association fees you have to pay, and they can be high

If there seems to be more disadvantages than advantages to buying townhomes for sale there are many people who enjoy living in a townhouse and will put up with the disadvantages. They like the close proximity of their neighbors. They are glad they do not have to be responsible for the upkeep of the exterior property, even if they have to pay homeowner association fees.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg



Source by Lora Davis

Condos For Sale MLS Listings – Reliable Real Estate Expertise

Condos for sale MLS listings are endless in most large cities around the world. The real estate market can quickly become intimidating due to the overwhelming amount of MLS listings, economical factors, mortgage financing and countless other critical factors.

Many home buyers and home sellers often want to save money by processing real estate transactions independently, however, they often find themselves wasting valuable time trying to figure out the fine print and legalities.

This is where the benefit of working with an expert real estate agent saves you from a potentially stressful experience while searching the endless condos for sale MLS listings.

By working closely with a top expert agent in your community, you will not only save valuable time, but more importantly you will gain direct access to vital insider knowledge. Your licensed professional is your personal guide to a vast array of market knowledge, resources and easy processing of the transaction.

How many times have you heard stories of a real estate deal gone wrong? It happens. You can avoid any pitfalls, bad investments, unnecessary costs and confusion by working closely with a top agent in your area.

Equally, an expert agent will assure you receive the highest value for your condominium or new home investment. The process of appraisals, home inspections, and other variables are key to determining the true value of a real estate investment.

The amount of condominiums for sale and houses for sale are endless in most local MLS listings. You can be assured to only spend time viewing home or investment properties that meet your needs by communicating with your agent the exact requirements you are expecting.

By predetermining your expectations and communicating them to an expert, you increase your chances of owning your dream home.

What if you find your dream home and fail to bid correctly? This is another benefit of working with an expert. Real estate agents are experts in winning deals. They provide top mls listing, property facts, arrange viewings, reveal hidden costs, process bids and will ease you through the closing process by the hand.

When determining which real estate agent to work with, it is best to work with someone you trust and is respected in your community. Reputation reveals the quality of service you can expect to receive from your condos for sale MLS listing search.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg



Source by J. Guillen

How Any Real Estate Agent Can Generate New Leads & Listings from Foreclosures

The title to this article is a pretty bold statement, but if you’ll allow me a couple of minutes of your time today, I’ll show you how you can take advantage of a brand-new Real Estate niche that most Agents don’t know about. It’s not that they aren’t aware of it; it’s just that they haven’t put two & two together.

This new source of Real Estate Leads could mean another 100 – 600 new, very motivated (Seller) Leads that are desperate for your professional help. And that’s only for a market of 100,000 homes. You’re market could have even more.

Why hasn’t this opportunity been available before?

Well, before now all the pieces were not readily available. Today, the technology is in place, the turnkey business-in-a-box-training-systems are available, and the market for this business is very ripe & growing.

Foreclosures will be the next big thing in Real Estate Leads

We are often asked by our Coaches Corner{tm} Newsletter Subscribers (350,000+): „What’s the next big thing going to be for Real Estate Agents?“

Well, if you asked me that question specific to Real Estate Lead Generation, I’d have to say Foreclosures & PreForeclosures are going to be the next big thing for New Real Estate Lead Generation.

You’ve probably already heard that Real Estate Foreclosures, as of April 2007 U.S. Foreclosure Market Report (published by RealtyTrac® – the #1 online authority for Foreclosure data), are up by 62% nationwide from April 2006. Some states are up by as much as 3,325% (New Hampshire).

Real Estate Foreclosures Rates continue to grow

Recently USA Today printed an article about the fact that 75% of the new home mortgages in California are No-Doc-Loans (some industry experts call them liar-loans). These No-Doc-Loans allow the homeowner to use stated income and often allow them to borrow more money at higher debt-to-income ratios than they could traditionally. The no-doc loans have become very prevalent in the last couple of years and are now widely used nationwide.

In my opinion, the majority of these liar-loans are Real Estate Foreclosures in embryo. It’s likely just a matter of time before the homeowners get into trouble and fall into Foreclosure.

Over a Million Real Estate Foreclosures Each Year

According to RealtyTrac®, with whom we’ve established an exclusive partnership, the number of Foreclosures will likely exceed 1.2 million this year if we continue at this pace. To read the complete May 15th, 2007 press release for RealtyTrac®’s U.S. Foreclosure Market Report click here.

What this means for the average Real Estate Agent in a market with 100,000 households is that about 127 new properties will enter some state of Foreclosure per month. Some of the not-so-average counties will see 431 new foreclosures per month for those same 100,000 households. So, that means that there will be 14 new Real Estate Foreclosure Listings per day per 100,000 households.

If you had the home seller information in a timely manner and were equipped to deal with this specific type of lead, it could mean 100 – 500 brand new leads every month in a market with 100,000 households.

Most Real Estate Agents don’t know how to handle prospects in Foreclosure and usually see them as junk prospects. So, there’s very little competition for you in this niche if you become a Real Estate Foreclosure Expert.

Couple that with a very highly motivated home seller, and you have a recipe for New Lead Generation Success.

Do you know your State’s Foreclosure Rate? If it’s only the national average, you’ll have 1 Foreclosure for every 783 households like quite a bit of the country? How many households do you have in your market, and what does that equate to in Foreclosures? A whole lot no matter where you live!

The Foreclosure Rates are growing almost everywhere and there are already an enormous amount of potential leads for you where you live, so take action and equip yourself with as much information as you can on Real Estate Foreclosures. The information will help you carve out a brand new niche in Real Estate Foreclosures in your area and help you grow your Real Estate Business.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg



Source by Dan Matejsek

Finding a House For Sale – Top Tips For Buyers

If you are looking for a house for sale in Christchurch, NZ there are several factors to consider. We’ve got some top tips for purchasing property in Canterbury, NZ.

1. Even though it’s a relatively small city, population wise, Christchurch is full of open suburbs with plenty of space and diversity that meets the needs of a range of purchasers. You can select anything from a beach front property, to one in the Port Hills, a central city pad, or a large house in the suburbs. Each suburb of Christchurch has a different feel, and it’s important to find a part of it that fits you and your personality as well as your housing needs.

2. Consider your garden needs. One thing Canterbury residents love is their gardens. Some newer areas have covenants so that gardens are kept to a specific standard. It’s important to find a place that matches the exterior maintenance of your lifestyle. Cottage gardens can look gorgeous, but may take some dedication, whereas native grasses and shrubs can look clean and clear and be low maintenance. It all depends on your lifestyle.

3. Schooling requirements are also an important factor. Many of the popular schools have zoning requirements and moving into a particular area can ensure your child/children have a better change of access to that school, but this often means you pay more of a premium. For parents of children who will attend a private school this may not be so much of an issue. The school culture is considered an important part of family life in Canterbury. Selecting a school in some of the outer suburbs often means your child can go to a smaller school, with a lovely family atmosphere.

4. Sporting and outdoor pursuits are another factor. Most sports are within an easy driving distance, but being situated near a golf course, a surf beach, or near biking tracks can be of benefit for the extra keen sports lover.

If you want a home that’s got all of the benefits of city living, with an outdoors lifestyle at your door, then buying a home in the Lyttleton Harbour and Bay areas can be a good option. The properties in these areas offer an easy commute to the central city if necessary, or you can work closer to home.

As you start looking for houses for sale in Christchurch, NZ, be sure to consider these above buying tips as part of your house buying process.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg



Source by Min Sarginson

Foreclosed Houses For Sale – Investment Real Estate

Foreclosed houses for sale present a valuable opportunity for investors to purchase this real estate. Fix it, sell it for a profit, rent it or live in it. There are many reasons why investors are presently looking to this market for their housing needs and the most important is price. Because the bottom has fallen out of the property market, foreclosed houses for sale in some areas are selling for less than 40% of what they were valued at two years ago. As more foreclosures come onto the market, they are sold cheaply and this drives down the value of other houses.

Buying foreclosed houses for sale is a great investing technique, it is a good way to make lots of money, but you have to be committed to learning about this process. Start by taking a look at yourself, ask yourself if you have the financial acumen to undertake such a process. Can you pay cash if you went to a tax action and found a house you liked and could afford? It is vital to success when buying foreclosed houses for sale, that you have ready finance. The auction sale is not going to wait for you to raise a mortgage loan, they want to get rid of foreclosed houses for sale as quickly as possible. In other words, timing is key!

Buying foreclosed houses for sale is one matter, while selling them is completely different. Knowing how to sell you new property is just as important as learning how to buy it. You need to learn how you can get your investment to earn you some cash.

A couple of tips to help you get started are dealing with the small repairs. Oil squeaky hinges and replace light fittings and bulbs. Replace broken and cracked window panes and paint the walls attractively. Make sure that the house has been thoroughly cleaned including drapes, carpets and cupboards. All of these small items will make the house look more cared for and easier to live in.

Know what small investments you can make to make the house earn you more money in the re-sale process. For example, kitchens are a good place to start. A garbage disposal in the kitchen is very important appliance for many people. A good one costs about 150 and can add hundreds of dollars to you asking price. People like a nice kitchen, it is where their food is prepared and it performs a very important function for the home owner.

Making the outside of foreclosed houses for sale look nice s also very important Potential home buyers will be put off by a shabby garden and unkempt lawn. It is easy to tidy up a garden, place some nice inviting plant pots on the porch, mow the lawn and keep it this way. Plan you sale for the spring or summer, buyers always prefer to purchase property during these seasons as they are looking forward to the summer vacation and really settling in.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg



Source by Kevin Simpson

Should I Buy a Home In 2008?

Dreadful information about the slumping American housing market is all over TV news and in almost every paper. During this housing slump many potential first time home buyers often wonder, should i buy a house in 2008? While every persons situation is different the next few paragraphs will hopefully help you decide whether or not to buy a house in 2008

It is a fact that property values across north America have dropped, in some areas they have dropped drastically and others its just a slight dip. Buying a home when prices are at the lowest is the best way for buyers to get the most for their money, and many people are now taking advantage of the lower home prices.

The major factor for most people when buying a home is securing a affordable mortgage to purchase the home with. In today’s current market mortgage rates have also fallen to very low levels making financing a new home more affordable then one year ago. When low mortgage rates are combined with reduced asking prices your money suddenly is able to buy you much more home then you previously thought possible!

The only real roadblock to buying a home in 2008 is going to be actually qualifying for a mortgage. Even though mortgage rates are low the lenders have tightened up their lending guidelines since the housing slump began. Since many borrowers need 100% financing it makes things that much more difficult. To deal with stricter lending guidelines borrowers are going to need excellent credit or have down payments in the range of five to twenty percent to secure home financing.

With property values falling and mortgage rates at very low levels 2008 is a great time to buy a new home. Not only is there more selection on the market but you will also be buying when prices are low so when the next real estate boom starts you will make substantial money on your investment.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg



Source by Darin Sewell

Real Estate Foreclosure Overages – A Secret of Real Estate Insiders

If you haven’t heard of real estate foreclosure overages, be glad you’re reading this article. Real estate foreclosure overages offer a huge opportunity for any interested in making a lot of money from home, and they stem from property foreclosure, which as you surely know, is skyrocketing in the current economy.

Real estate foreclosure overages occur when a bidder bids more for a property at the foreclosure auction that was owed on the mortgage, or in back taxes. For example, if someone owes the government $5,000 in taxes but they have a nice property, a bidder may very well bid close to retail value for the home; say, $150,000. This results in an overage (in this case, $145,000) – also called an overbid, overplus, surplus, or excess proceeds, depending on the particular state’s language.

In many tax foreclosure cases and all mortgage foreclosure cases, this money is due back to the original owner. However, in a stunning amount of cases, the owner doesn’t realize they are entitled to the funds. They think that by defaulting on their loan or not paying their taxes, they just lose everything. These owners get good at avoiding bill collectors and other debt-related communication, and frequently miss any notice from the government that they are owed money.

Due to an almost unknown loophole, real estate foreclosure overages are almost never subject to the same limits the government puts on state-held funds. What this means for you is that you can collect these funds on behalf of owners without dealing with the restrictions the government puts in place on money finders for things like lost bank accounts. For your service in locating the funds and their owners and helping to connect the two, you can legally charge up to 50%.

In the example above, you would make over $70,000 as a finder’s fee, just on that one overage (and real estate foreclosure overages that big exist, and there are a LOT of them). That’s an entire year’s household income (or more) for most people. Imagine the earning potential when you get involved collecting these overages full-time.

While most don’t know about this source of income – even most of those who invest actively at tax sale – a few real estate insiders have been quietly making a killing this way for literally decades. With the current foreclosure rate, now’s a great time to break into the field and take a piece of their pie.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg



Source by Maggie Dawson

How To Create The Best Real Estate Listings

When someone is trying to find a new home, they may look up real estate listings. These listings may hold information that is crucial to picking out the right place to view. Some people will look through pages of listings and make a short list of homes there would like to view in person. Find out what makes a good listing and how to sort them out.

One of the first things that a person will look for when hunting for a home, is the location. They may type in a city and a certain area that may be important to them. If nothing really pops up, then the person could change cities or broaden their search.

Pictures of some listings are important to help lure people to it. Many people will scroll down the list of homes in the area and may stop only at the ones that are appealing. This photo is important in capturing the essence in the rest of the ad. If someone is taking a picture of their house or condo, they should pick the best picture from the outside and use that for the main cover.

On the inside of a listing, there will need to be lots of important information disclosed to the buyers. This information could include the size of a home along with measurements in each room. Number of bedrooms is important as well as the number of washrooms present on each floor. Some people will type in specific items about their needs in order to refine the search.

Main features will be highlighted in a section about the listing. This information may include some top features in the home. Things like AC, central vacuum and a fenced backyard could be ideal choices for someone who is looking. Some people want to know if the basement is finished and what aspects of the listing are new.

If there are any new features or work that has been done, a listing is the place to highlight it. New flooring, a new roof, windows and furnace could be of importance to a buyer. Someone searching through many listings and advertised homes may find that just a few have some of the things they are looking for.

Pictures taken in the rest of a home, can help to take people inside the home for a quick glance. Homeowners may snap photos of all the best qualities of any inside and outside highlighted spots. These images can help to create an image of a listing that some viewers will want to see. If there is something outside that looks special in the home, that shot could be taken and posted on a listing. A great deck, pool area, or garden could be an image used to post in a listing.

When real estate listings are used to help people find homes, they can help to narrow down a search. Buyers can use sites that help them key in on specific locations, sizes and features. Pictures and additional information can prove to be important when hunting for a new place to live.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg



Source by Adriana N

The Home Buying Process Includes the 10 Complete Steps to Purchasing a Home

In some of the hottest real estate markets in the country some homes stay on the market just a few short hours and ultimately sell at or above their asking price due to a bidding war amongst multiple purchasers, making it imperative that serious buyers have the assistance of an experienced buyer’s real estate agent and understand the home buying process as well.

It’s quite natural for many buyers to spend several weeks or even months looking for the right home. However, in some of the flourishing property markets in the country things can sometimes move rather quickly in the final stages of the buying process. Ensuring you understand the entire process from beginning to end and knowing the most important things to do throughout the process can help make the home buying process much more enjoyable and successful.

Below, we have listed the necessary steps to complete the entire process of purchasing a new home successfully. Not only will you find all the steps needed for a great buying experience, you will also find valuable tips about the most important tasks throughout the buying process and many things you will want to remember to reference later on. Following our outline for the steps involved in the home-buying process will help you find a great buyer’s real estate agent who can also provide financial assistance to partner with and will allow you to handle all the requirements of purchasing a home effectively.

Step 1: Choose an Experienced Buyer’s Real Estate Agent

The absolute number one most important step in purchasing a home is the very first step, choosing the right buyer’s real estate agent to partner with. An experienced and savvy buyer’s agent can save you thousands of dollars throughout the property purchase process and will offer you valuable insights on a wide range of topics throughout your search for a home.

A knowledgeable buyer’s agent can help guide you on how much you should pay for a particular home, suggest the best mortgage lenders to work with and offer you the valuable advice you can only get from a real estate professional with extensive experience in the local market. Additionally, there are a few buyers agents that offer special incentives such as buyer cash back programs and down payment assistance you never have to repay!

If you only follow one of the steps we have included in this list, it should be this one. Partnering with a great real estate agent is many times the single most important factor in searching for a new home and successfully completing a purchase.

Step 2: Discuss and Review Needs with Your Buyer’s Agent

Once you select an agent to work with it is important to have a detailed initial meeting to discuss all the details of your situation with your agent. Keep in mind, a buyer’s agent should represent you and you alone. You do not want to work with a transaction agent who is working for both the buyer and the seller. A transaction agent has no fiduciary responsibility to either party and as such can disclose everything to the seller and vice versa. A buyer’s agent’s purpose is to negotiate for you alone always having your best interest in mind and to do everything they can to put you in the best possible negotiating position. They will review with your all disclosures and laws so you have an understanding of the home buying process legal requirements. Therefore, it’s important to openly discuss all the important aspects of your new home search with your agent including any financial concerns, family issues or any items that you absolutely cannot do without.

The better they understand your overall personal circumstances, the more effective they can be at helping you achieve all your objectives and requirements. Obviously, the topics discussed during your initial meeting will vary quite a bit from person to person, depending on your main concerns. However, the key areas below are typically the minimum amount of topics that should be covered during the meeting.

Lifestyle Needs

Your lifestyle will determine what type of home might be most suitable for you. Therefore, it is important to let your buyer’s agent know about your work, your family, and your overall lifestyle. Discuss the things in a home that will be the most important to you as well as the least important.

Financial Situation and Challenges

If you have any special requirements, limitations or credit issues now is the time to discuss them with your agent. If you are upfront and honest about it, then they can help you find viable solutions to any existing issues. If you choose to hold back information then they may not find out until it is too late for them to offer you help and or save the deal. Remember, your buyer’s agent is on your side and there to help you.

Establish Initial Price Range/Budget

You should always establish a budget in terms of monthly payment and total price before you begin shopping for a new home.

Step 3: Pre-Approval and Completing the Mortgage Approval Process

Once you complete your initial meeting with your buyer’s agent, it’s time to get pre-qualified for a mortgage. If you have chosen your real estate agent partner wisely, then they will most likely have some recommendations for which lenders might offer you the best options. Obtaining a mortgage pre-approval or pre-qualification is a crucial step in the home buying process.

Having a lender review your financial situation and give you a formal pre-approval letter will let sellers know you are not only willing to purchase their home, you are also able to make a purchase. In fact, some sellers will not even consider an offer unless you have gone through the lender pre-qualification process. It’s important to take care of this step very early on in the process and to keep your buyer’s agent informed of any communication or extra requirements of the lender.

There are many different types of mortgage programs available and all of them have advantages and drawbacks. The three most common types of mortgage loans are usually classified as FHA, VA or as a conventional mortgage. However, there are some specialty programs available as well, often connected with the classification of your employment or geographically specific related programs.

FHA Mortgage

An FHA mortgage is a federally insured mortgage sponsored by the Federal Housing Administration. If you qualify for this type of mortgage, then the Federal Government insures a portion of the mortgage in the event you are not able to fulfill your commitment and repay the loan. This reduces the risk for lenders who are facilitating the loan. An FHA insured mortgage usually requires around a 3% down payment plus closing costs and the maximum loan amount varies from county to county.

VA Mortgage

A Veterans Administration mortgage is a special program for former members of the U.S. military. Similar to FHA loans there are specific requirements that an applicant must meet in order to qualify for this type of loan. However, in certain circumstances this type of mortgage can offer significant advantages as the loan to value is normally 100%; meaning no down payment is required, yet there will still be some closing cost.

Conventional Mortgage

A conventional loan is a mortgage offered through a privately owned or publicly held lender that is not insured or guaranteed by the Federal Government. There are certain cases where this type of mortgage might be preferable to a VA or FHA loan, so do not immediately assume a federally backed mortgage is always the best option. Although conventional loans usually require a much greater down payment.

Other Specialty Mortgage Programs

PATH is a discounted mortgage program available in some states that is offered to some public employees. If you work for one of the following entities, then it might be worth checking into the details of PATH to see if you qualify and if it will offer you any savings.

• Public Employees-Department of Health and Other Local Authorities

• State or Local Public School District Employee

• State University Employee

• Community College Employee

• Employee of the Public Court System

• Members of PERA (Public Employee Retirement Association)

Buyer’s Agent Programs-Cash Back and Down Payment Assistance

A select few buyer’s real estate agents offer special programs to their clients who purchase homes through home buyer’s cash back rebate program or down payment assistance up to $19,000. that never has to be repaid. Not all agents offer these programs and the additional financial help can easily be thousands of dollars which is more than helpful when purchasing a home. The two programs usually cannot be combined as per lender’s regulations.

Get Recommendations from Your Real Estate Agent Partner

Based on the information you share with your agent they can offer you valuable advice for getting help with a mortgage and getting started in your search for a new home. It is always wise to listen carefully to the advice of your real estate agent as the chances are very good they have seen others in the exact same situation as you and are associated with lenders, home inspectors and title companies.

Step 4: Searching for a New Home

An obvious step in the home buying process is the actual home shopping stage. Your agent can analyze comparable property values and help compile a list of properties that fit the parameters discussed ahead of time and schedule a time or multiple times to begin looking at the homes with you. It is important to be open minded as you may come across options you have not spent much time considering.

At first, you might have a tendency to quickly dismiss certain options, only realizing much later, that the home was a perfect fit. You will naturally scale down your options as you begin to get a feel for the area and the homes and pricing available. However, do your best to begin with an open mind and listen to the advice and suggestions of your agent; as he/she is the experienced expert in the area you desire.

Step 5: Choose a Property and Make an Offer

Once you have taken the time to fully review all of your property options and you have discussed things with your agent, it is time to choose a home and make an offer. Most formal offers require a small earnest money deposit showing your good intention to follow through if your offer is accepted, a copy of the pre-approval letter from your lender and an offer in writing, which your agent will prepare and deliver for you. These days things move much faster due to the digital platforms all offers, counters and other documents are handled online on secure websites for everyone’s convenience.

Step 6: Negotiate and Finalize Purchase Agreement

Once you make an offer a number of things can happen. The seller can accept the offer, reject the offer outright or make a counteroffer. Your buyer’s agent will help you properly negotiate the terms in question, as they can include a wide variety of items that range from the selling price of the home to how much of the closing costs the seller may be willing to pay and even if certain repairs will be paid for by the seller.

Once your offer is accepted or final terms are negotiated, then it is time to get prepared to finish the final few steps of the home buying process and close on your new home.

Step 7: Consult with Your Lender and Buyer’s Agent on Mortgage Approval

Once an official sales contract is in place, it is best to consult with your lender and your buyer’s agent to find out what is needed to get the mortgage approval finished and ready to close. It is important to note, the pre-approval process at the beginning is only the first half of completing a mortgage approval. Most of the time, the lender will require updated documents, additional information, employment verification and a variety of details to get the loan ready for an actual closing date. It is very important not to take on or even apply for credit elsewhere as this can damage the successful outcome to a final mortgage approval.

Do not delay in supplying the lender with any additional documents or other requirements, as time is of the essence, each item in your contract will usually have a required completion date and often times final underwriting and approval to close can take a bit longer than was originally projected. Every last detail and piece of paperwork must be submitted and the lender’s underwriters will not grant a „cleared to close“ until everything has been submitted and reviewed.

Step 8: Order Home Inspection and Review

Once you have talked with your lender and your buyer’s agent about the status of the mortgage approval then it is time to order a home inspection. A home inspection should always be completed and will sometimes prompt a few last minute details to be worked out between the buyer and seller. A home inspection is different from an appraisal. The home inspection is usually ordered and paid for by the buyer to help the buyer know the condition of the home they are purchasing and „what if“ any repairs need to be done; whereas the appraisal is now ordered by the lending institution to determine whether the real value of the home is consistent with the loan amount they are lending to purchase it.

Step 9: Buyer Reviews and Approves Settlement Statement

Based on changes in current real estate regulation, a buyer now has to review and approve the Settlement Statement for the closing three days prior to the actual closing date. This is for the buyer’s protection so there are no surprises at the closing table. Your buyer’s agent will work with to review your settlement statement and explain any items that you may not understand or be totally familiar with.

Step 10: Final Walkthrough and Closing

Once you review and approve the Settlement Statement, it is time for the final walkthrough and to complete the closing. Whether this is your first home or your tenth home, finally getting the closing done is always a great feeling and a very good reason for celebrating!

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg



Source by Carol Vizzi

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