How long do I have to get inspections done?
10-14 days depending on your contract
Do you have to do inspections when purchasing a property?
No, you can waive inspections. This makes for a strong appealing offer but comes with risks that you could be buying something that has some major defective issues. You can also do inspections but for “Informational purposes only” or “as is” this gives you the window to do inspections to see what you’re getting into but you will not be submitting a laundry list of items to seller to repair.
Who schedules inspections, me or you?
You the buyer hire the inspector and schedule, we make sure it works for the seller.
I don’t have an inspector can you help me find one?
Absolutely we have multiple trusted professionals our buyers have liked and can recommend but you may use whoever you’d like.
Are inspections apart of closing costs or an extra cost?
Inspections are a separate cost to the buyer.
My brother is handy but not licensed can he be my inspector?
A seller will only negotiate with a licensed professionals work with reports. Per Covid guidelines we try to limit the number of people at showings/inspections but definitely feel free to facetime your brother to show him around if necessary.
Is there just one inspector I need or certain people for certain things?
One home inspector, If further evaluation is needed of specific items you can get specific licensed contractor out to assess. If there is a Septic present, septic inspection is separate.
Septic is separate, who do I hire for that?
Generally best to ask seller who they use to pump system. They will be most familiar with the system, tank location and be able to inspect as well. Have seller mark location of the tank this could be an extra charge if septic company has to look around digging multiple spots.
Who pays for pumping, who pays for inspection of tank?
Generally Seller pays for pumping, buyer pays for inspection of septic.
Should I schedule Septic and Home inspection on the same day?
Yes, that makes it easiest for seller, and agents if possible but we understand everyone's schedules area different and sometimes it does not work out that way.
What is the cost of a home inspector, one flat fee or does it depend what I get done?
Varys on who you use and what you choose to get done. Radon, water, pest are extras.
Do I need radon? And water tested?
It is best to find out now during inspection period if there are major health concerning issues such as radon and bad water. This will fall back on seller, whereas after closing this will be your possibly costly issue to remedy.
Does my lender get a copy of my inspection report?
If there is too much uncertain items found can I walk away?
Yes during your inspection period.
What happens to my deposit if I walk away?
As long as you follow your contract and are within your inspection window you will get it back.
Will I get my inspection money back?
Unfortunately no. Once inspections are done and if you decide to walk away your inspector has been paid for his job and you do not get that money back. Sometimes the next purchaser of the house may ask to buy them off of you, one way to recoup a few dollars lost.
If I still want to purchase but some items are concerning then what?
We will attach items with corresponding report pages and submit a request to seller to repair/replace, or credit the items of concern.
How many items are too many items to request?
Depending on what market you are in may alter how willing sellers are to work with a buyer on inspection items and ONLY include hazardous, health concerning or defective items.
Does the seller HAVE to do all my initial requested items?
No, they can choose to do some and not others.
Will final negotiated items be in writing?
Yes, once buyers and sellers have agreed upon what sellers will do we you will have a signed form starting, and signed by all parties.
How will I know they did the items?
Paid Invoices will be provided prior to closing and final walk through is most important to be sure all items were done as requested.
Can I ask for a credit instead of repair?
Yes, sometimes credits are an easier route for both seller and buyer. Seller doesn’t have time or want to deal with the hassle of doing project, a credit is a great way to go. This way the buyer has the funds at closing to be able to repair themselves. A quote may need to be provided to confirm credit is appropriate amount.
I already have the seller crediting closing costs will that effect how much of a credit I can get for inspection items?
YES, certain loans will only let you have so much of a closing cost credit total, example 6% fha. If you are already asking for closing costs this will limit how much of a credit you can have for a credited inspection item.
In this market are sellers more or less likely to do minor items on inspection request lists?
Being an active sellers market sellers are LESS likely to do many items requested. They can simply go active and get property under contract easily once again. You must feel confident in your purchase however limit your requests to the necessary and remember no house is perfect.
You may have come across a listing that says "Active Continue to Show," "Pending continue to show" or "Show"..
What does this mean, is this home available? Can I still see it?
The seller of this property has received an offer, negotiated and signed a contract with a buyer already. It is under contract.. On one hand some sellers don't want the hassle of more showings while being under contract so they will mark as "Pending" or "On deposit."
However MOST sellers don't want to lock their home down for weeks for this one contract incase the unfortunate and unexpected event that contract not work out... They want to be proactive and still show home the home as well as accept possible back up offers. "Active Continue to Show" ("pending continue to show" or "Show") means the property which is under contract, is still available to be viewed and possibly accept back up offers. Back up offers can be negotiated and agreed upon, and only IF first contract is terminated for not having met contingencies whether be inspection, financing etc.. the backup offer will go into first place then and only then. This wastes no time, eliminates fear of others swooping in or losing the house again if it becomes active. Sometimes its best to just watch the properties to see if they come back on, other times its good to still see it and put in a back up offer.
However in a perfect world the first contract works out, has removed its contingencies and goes towards closing, that is when the seller will put property listed as "Deposit" or "Pending" unavailable for showings.
It is always best to refer to your Realtor if you have interest in a property along with what its status is and means.
2020 has many families reevaluating their living situations. Here in Connecticut people are questioning the functions of their home and if they are truly happy where they are at. Maybe you have decided your house just simply doesn't have enough space for your family to function. You need an office and a place to work out. The kids need their own play room but aslo a quiet place to learn. Open concept just isn't working anymore. The yard isn't big enough or maybe you want to move to a more rural neighborhood. Seems like overnight our homes went from somewhere we sleep to a place that has to function for everything and everyone 24-7. You've been thinking it over for months and heading into the new year, this may be the fresh start you needed. NOW is the time to list. When will you ever get this perfect storm of LOW interest rates and high return on selling your home. LOW inventory has buyers STILL in a scramble offering at and over asking price. Some properties 10-20k over asking! Homes that expired and went off market last year go active and are get scooped up! What is holding you back? Here's what you should know about listing in 2020 during covid times.
"I don't really want people coming in and out of my house how can I sell my house and protect my family?"
This is a very common question we get.
If you are moving to a rental, know where you are going or with family it may be best to move prior to listing however where that is generally not the case here are some tips on how to safely list your home while living in it..
For starters all paperwork is done online, so many digital signing programs have given agents the tools to be able to work more remote and distanced but connected then ever. So by the time we show up for pictures you have already signed your listing agreement and ready to begin. To start... Get infront of the market virtually. We live in such a technological age that everything can be seen and previewed online. When hiring an agent ask if they do their pictures themselves or get professional photos done? If you prefer less traffic the agent can very well do them, however professional photos really shine a property in its best light in such a digitally driven time. Another option which has become very popular is 360 Virtual tours and/or virtual walk throughs. Agents can do virtual walk throughs either by video or specialty camera giving the buyer the opportunity to tour the home without ever stepping inside. This will give a great idea of feel especially in homes that are unique or have difficult layouts where you typically see from photos. This will also weed out any unnecessary traffic of those who do not feel after viewing it is the home for them.
Following CDC guidelines. As required all agents and buyers entering home are required to where masks. Some sellers have sweet little stations by the front door with sanitizer, wipes for doorknobs, sometimes gloves and even booties. Other sellers require buyers remove shoes. I have even seen sellers request no-one uses the bathroom. Whatever your request it really is not too much to ask, many buyers are respectful and understand. What I generally recommend is sellers leave lights on and closets cracked, this will eliminate anyone having to touch extra items around your home. As Realtors we also request only primary buyers accompany agent to showings, inspections and such no extended family and friends. Agents are only bringing out qualified ready and willing buyers. With our current market if priced appropriately, and listed immediately you should ideally be able to get your home under deposit with one buyer within the first couple weeks. From there showings with slow/stop and you will just have inspections to closing with minimal traffic.. Again paperwork is done online. Our goal as agents is to show, sell and keep everyone safe. We have adapted and will accommodate to the needs of our sellers and buyers to ensure a smooth transaction in a challenging time.
"Someone said I have to have my house listed before I can put in an offer.. is this true?"
To be a viable buyer in this market, yes you need your home listed under contract. I recommend putting verbiage such as subject to seller finding suitable housing in your contract. Be open and honest about the probability that you may need to extending dates out. See how flexible the buyer is to work with you.
"I want to do some updates before I am ready to list."
In this market buyers are more willing to look past the lack up updates to get the right house. They are more willing then ever and while I cannot predict the future I would not wait long. Our numbers have doubled from the prior year, with less inventory then ever. To get active sooner then later is your best chance at capturing this market in its entirety and will set you up for success.
"What kind of offer should I give on a house in this market?"
When purchasing know that there are many buyers, MANY without a home to sell. You need to be ready to jump and come in strong with your offers. Loan type and down payment amount matter in this market. Waiving inspections or doing them for informational purposes only, can matter. There is more to this market then highest bid wins, its about the quality of the offer and sometimes even the buyer themselves. It never hurts to include a heartfelt letter or picture.. Have patience, many buyers are disheartened and frustrated losing one house after another after another. Also know that homes are going on and off market, falling through often. Many inspection items, anxious buyers and sellers, and just that sellers not finding homes.. there is a lot of turnover from active, to under contract to active once again. Keep an eye out, just because a property goes under contract doesn't mean it won't come back on. Consider putting in a back up offer, where your offer will take the place of current if the current one was to fall through. There are scenarios where this can all work but be conscious of what is happening in this market, speak with your agent on your best plan of action whether it be selling and/or buying.
Are you happy in your current home, Where do you see yourself in 2021?
If you have any questions or concerns holding you back? Contact your local Realtor!
Generally I send this to my buyer clients but why not share.. See file below for information on Buying a Horse Property! Any questions just ask!
We never could have expected to have the start to 2020 that we have had. Coming down from a very busy 2019, the New Year brought new business goals, and hopes soaring high.
Over the last few months we were faced with the hard reality that our business model, our goals must all be adjusted if not thrown out. Open houses had been cancelled, working remotely including attorneys and towns, sellers put listing on the back burner, interest rates dropped, unemployment spiked, buyers have been active on the internet searching.. Company events, training and meetings cancelled or gone virtual. As agents we've all handled the pandemic differently. With so much uncertainty some agents had been frozen in time unable to adapt, while others have had to grab the reins and reinvent the wheel. As a career where you work months for a paycheck, you can't afford to sit idle. The days wasted today will affect future of your business if you are not working and sowing seeds.
I had always said I am apart of the Middletown office but I work virtually and only go to drop off checks, which proved to be more true than ever. While I took a moment to sit, process, reflect at what this new world is we live in and what is important I pushed forward as most in any and every way I could. Mostly everything we do as agents can be done from a computer. Research, Marketing, data input, and connections through social media. We've had to embrace what we are offered from the company, stay connected and be creative. Despite being socially distanced our office went virtual with weekly meetings where before I never would have been able to go to I now feel more connected than ever. Thank you Manager Lisa!
SO it’s been MONTHS, What is actually happening this Spring Market!?
What we saw happen was an industry that really never sleeps ..Buyers and sellers buy and sell for all different reasons and the need is still there. I've been seeing more NYC buyers coming into the state looking for country homes. I have also seem families just too cramped in their homes, or others looking to downsize and simplify. Horse owners have been restricted from seeing their horses which have made them reevaluate their boarding situation. This time has given us all time to reflect on what is important and where do we want to be in the BIG picture of life and our homes.. While there was a pause real estate continued, just in a very different way. Closings were done through the mail or car windows. Some drive by appraisals done. Inspections continued. Connections are made. Offers submitted, houses sold. We are still physically showing in masks however Virtual tours and videos came rushing to the scene. Virtual tours makes showing homes easily accessible and safe while weeding out buyers who may not be a good fit. I have noticed agents coming together being flexible and adaptable to get showings done, and properties under contract. It has been very surreal and I appreciate the understanding and patience of every seller, buyer, agents, lenders, inspectors and attorneys working to get deals done in this time. It takes a village.
Where are awe NOW? When should I list? The state is opening back up and we currently have a market with insanely LOW inventory, less than HALF of what we normally have for a Spring Market. However there are STILL buyers, many BUYERS. It is a SELLERS market. Competitive buyers are driving prices up and selling homes quickly. Sellers if you are thinking of selling, NOW is absolutely the time. Buyers have your approvals ready and be prepared to move swiftly. Each day more listings are coming on and will continue to see this market into Summer.
Stay safe and healthy everyone and know Summer IS new SPRING MARKET!
Ready to Buy, What are the steps?
Are you ready to start the home buying process but don’t know where to begin?
Your very first step in the home buying process is to talk to a lender. Getting prequalified with a lender will give you a clear depiction of what you can afford, what type of loan you are going for and what it costs to buy. There are different types of loans with varying percents down, and guidelines to follow when looking for a home. For example government such as FHA loans will not allow a buyer to purchase a home with peeling paint or broken windows. A USDA loan requires homes to be in a certain geographical area. It is best to know right up front what you should be looking for, and at what price range so you are absolutely ready to buy when that home you've been dreaming of comes on. I have had buyers to this day who still talk about that house they loved and missed out on because their ducks were not in a row.
From there select a Real Estate agent who is well qualified to help you along through the process as your BUYERS agent. (You can select an agent before talking to a lender, they can give lender recommendations but they won't show you houses until you are prequalified). Sellers have their own agents, listing agents. Together the buyers agent and the listing agent represent their clients to come to agreements on price, inspection items and more.. Sometimes the buyers and listing agents can be the same person, dual agent. Your buyers agents commission is generally paid by the SELLER and does not cost you to have your own representation (Raveis does only charge a $195 admin fee to keep paperwork on file. Some loans this isn't required) You do not HAVE to use the listing agent as your agent. You can have your own agent to represent, guide, listen and be exclusively your agent. You do not have to choose the first Realtor you meet either, be up front and interview those you might want to represent you. However don't waste time once you've promptly decided you will have to sign a exclusive right to represent paperwork. This paperwork tells you what the agents duty's are to you, that they are your agent and what is required of you as well as a buyer. These are standard procedure. Your agent should have knowledge of the area, will know exactly when things are coming on and what you are looking for.. They should keep you well informed, educated, obtain documents and be able to explain contracts to you.
Once you have your approval and Realtor it is time to start looking!
Your agent will help set you up on a search from the multiple listing service (the most up to date list of homes out there) with your specific criteria, schedule and request appointments. They'll send you attachments and answer any questions. Some buyers take only 3 houses in one day before picking the one they want to put an offer in on, some can be almost 40 over the course of years. We are all on our own journey and your agent is there for the long haul. They will discuss, and draw up your offer with you, if there are multiple offers they will help guide you on the next steps. Generally from offer acceptance to closing it takes 45 days depending on the lender and the complexity of the sale and loan, some as little as 30 depending on the lender.
It is important to remember besides down payment there are also closings costs associated with buying a home. These costs are attorneys fees, appraisal fees, recording fees and more. Generally buyers closings costs are 2-5% in Connecticut. So if you are purchasing a $300,000 home be ready to have $12,000 in closing costs outside of your down payment/deposit. Some loans will allow a buyer to wrap these costs into their mortgage as a seller credit.
How low is too low? So you submitted your offer now what? How long does it take for the seller to respond?
General idea is you want to get your foot in the door. If you "low ball" with expectations that the gap will surely be closed, you may be wrong. Sellers get insulted, refuse to counter back or if they do it is minimally, you do the same.. and you will end up at a stand still. Things that play into effect, how long has the house been listed? How many price reductions? They may or may not be motivated, your best bet is to put a decent foot forward with a reasonable offer and move in smaller increments in negotiation. Other items that play into the offer are the deposit amounts, the closing date and other terms such as requiring inspections. Sometimes buyers like to add in tractors or other items of interest into your offer, we sell houses not lawnmowers, snow blowers, generators and furniture.. try to avoid those. Purchase them outside after (DO NOT MAKE BIG PURCHASES DURING THE HOME BUYING PROCESS) and outside of the closing. I have had deals fall apart because a seller and buyer couldn't agree on tractor attachments. While sometimes it can help narrow the gap between sellers and buyers it is best to keep personal items out of the contract. If down the road the sellers want to off load some things while they pack, you want to buy some things then is best to figure out what we can all work out. Contractually sellers usually process, think it over and respond within a day or two however if you are concerned with waiting you can write in a date you'd like to hear by in your offer.
The seller can ACCEPT, REJECT, OR NEGOTIATE. I have seen all THREE. If you came in with a good offer they may not want to play games and just accept. YAY! If they feel insulted they can completely reject. More times then not they will counter offer and negotiate. The ball will go back and forth a few times before everyone can agree on price and terms. This is why having an agent is so important, to keep focus on the task and not let the emotions get the best of everyone. Sellers have a lot of pride in their home and can only let it go at the price their willing or can let it go for due to finances. And buyers can only afford what they can afford at what they are willing to pay.
Once everyone can agree, contract is signed and sent on to lender, you pick a closing attorney, first deposit delivered and inspections are scheduled.. Inspections are generally paid out of pocket and not wrapped in closing costs. Prices vary depending if you are getting just home inspection, or radon, well, water, insect and more. If there is a septic system in place that is a separate inspector. You may want to reach out to whoever has serviced the septic in the past. Sellers generally pay for pumping, buyers for inspection of septic. Inspections are done within the first two weeks, if there are major defective items to be addressed you will submit a form to the seller stating you what items to be fixed or credited (unless it is "as is"). As long as you are within your dates you can walk away at this time with your deposit if you do not wish to move forward or can't agree to terms. Again in negotiations seller can accept or reject some or all items. Generally they want a sale as bad as you do and we work hard to come to agreements on the defective items. It is important to keep an open mind that even new houses can have issues. No house is perfect. Ask for reasonable, hazardous, major, and health concerning issues. Avoid cosmetic, items under $100, trivial or things you want to update. Once everyone agrees in writing the items to be fixed the seller has till closing to get them done. You should get receipts of work done and check work at your walk through. If any is not complete you will then talk with your attorney.
During this time after inspection items are handled and if you are still moving forward second deposit is due. You will continue on with your lender, sending information and working towards your mortgage approval. You will pay for and schedule your appraisal. A bank will not lend on a property unless it appraises out. When asking for closing cost credit the house must appraise at that price. So a home selling at $300,000 net to seller but under contract for $312,000 to wrap in closing costs must appraise at the $312,000. Once apprisal happens, and you work with your bank you may get a mortgage conditional approval.. items to be addressed before a approval. Once you have approval and clear to close your attorney with the sellers attorney will schedule exact closing date and time. This sometimes varys from the actual date on the contract. Once scheduled you'll schedule walk trough day of or day before closing with your agent. Make sure the house is as you thought it is inclusions/exclusions and inspection items addressed. Then onto CLOSING! Congratulations!
Each deal is absolutely different, no two are the same. I've had interesting sales where the buyer did the inspections before they ever put in an offer, cross country face time showings, offers from open houses when my first time seeing the house as their agent was at inspections, early closings, delayed closings, have a house to sell, 3 different appraisals, Bank owned, short sale, 100% financing VA loans, Cash deal... They are ALL different and have different challenges. Most are not clean cut straight forward, but we as agents hope to journey with you, manage the stres and guide you through this process to be successful. These are the general steps that your agent will guide you through. They can help give you recommendations for lenders, inspectors and attorneys. They are there to be your right hand man. As a team we hope to climb this mountain of tasks together and get you from a buyer to a homeowner!