Selling Your Home - Common Q&A About Selling Your Home
Should I add on or buy a bigger home?
Consider these questions
before making a choice between adding on to an existing home or moving up in the
market to a bigger house:
* How much money is available, either from cash
reserves or through a home improvement loan, to remodel the current house?
How much additional space is required? Would the foundation support a second
floor or does the lot have room to expand on the ground level?
* What do
local zoning and building ordinances permit?
* How much equity already
exists in the property?
* Are there affordable properties for sale that
would satisfy housing needs?
Ultimately, the decision should be based on individual needs, the extent of
work involved and what will add the most value.
What do all of those real estate acronyms in the ads mean?
find yourself stumbling over weird acronyms in a real estate listing, don't be
alarmed. There is method to the madness of this shorthand (which is mostly
adopted by sellers to save money in advertising charges). Here are some
abbreviations and the meaning of each, taken from a recent newspaper classified
* assum. fin. -- assumable financing
* dk -- deck
* gar --
garage (garden is usually abbreviated "gard")
* expansion pot'l -- may be
extra space on the lot, or possibly vertical potential for a top floor or room
addition. Verify actual potential by checking local zoning restrictions prior to
* fab pentrm -- fabulous pentroom, a room on top, underneath the
roof, that sometimes has views
* FDR -- formal dining room (not the former
* frplc, fplc, FP -- fireplace
* grmet kit -- gourmet
* HDW, HWF, Hdwd -- hardwood floors
* hi ceils -- high
* In-law potential -- potential for a separate apartment. Sometimes,
local zoning codes restrict rentals of such units so be sure the conversion is
* large E-2 plan -- this is one of several floor plans available
in a specific building
* lsd pkg. -- leased parking area, may come with an
* lo dues -- find out just how low these homeowner's dues
are, and in comparison to what?
* nr bst schls -- near the best schools
pvt -- private
* pwdr rm -- powder room, or half-bath
* upr- upper floor
* vw, vu, vws, vus -- view(s)
* Wow! -- better check this one
* "Real Estate's Ambiguous Language You Oughtta
Understand," Glennon H. Neubauer, Ethos Group Publishing, Diamond Bar, CA;
How long do bankruptcies and foreclosures stay on a credit
Bankruptcies and foreclosures can remain on a credit report for
seven to 10 years. Some lenders will consider an borrower earlier if they have
reestablished good credit. The circumstances surrounding the bankruptcy can
also influence a lender's decision. For example, if you went through a
bankruptcy because your employer had financial difficulties, a lender may be
more sympathetic. If, however, you went through bankruptcy because you
overextended personal credit lines and lived beyond your means, the lender
probably will be less inclined to be flexible.
What are some tips on
The more you know about a seller's motivation, the stronger
a negotiating position you are in. For example, seller who must move quickly due
to a job transfer may be amenable to a lower price with a speedy escrow. Other
so-called "motivated sellers" include people going through a divorce or who have
already purchased another home. Remember, that the listing price is what the
seller would like to receive but is not necessarily what they will settle for.
Before making an offer, check the recent sales prices of comparable homes in the
neighborhood to see how the seller's asking price stacks up.
discourage making deliberate low-ball offers. While such an offer can be
presented, it can also sour the sale and discourage the seller from negotiating
Do sellers have to disclose the terms of other
Sellers are not legally obligated to disclose the terms of other
offers to prospective buyers.
How do I prepare the house for
First and foremost, put it in the best condition possible,
especially if you are in a market with few buyers and lots of homes for sale.
That means taking care of any major repairs that could deter a buyer (such as
replacing any broken windows or replacing a leaky roof) if you can afford it.
Next, work on your home's curb appeal. Make sure your landscape is pristine. Mow
the grass, clean up any debris and weed the garden beds. Plant a few annual
flowers near the entrance or in pots to be placed by the door. Other quick
fixes that don't cost a lot of money but can help you get top dollar for your
Clean the windows and make sure the paint is not chipped or flaking.
Be sure that the doorbell works.
Clean and freshen up rooms, furnishings, floors, walls and ceilings. Make
sure that bathrooms and kitchens are spotless.
Make sure the basic appliances and fixtures work. Replace leaky faucets and
Eliminate the source of any bad smells, such as the kitty box. Use air
freshener or bake a batch of cookies before your open house to ensure that the
house smells inviting.
Invest in a couple of vases of fresh flowers to place around the house