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Your down payment will be determined by the type of loan that you get and how much the home costs that you are purchasing. For example: You qualify for an FHA loan, which requires 3.5% down and the home that you're purchasing costs $75,000. To determine your down payment you will take 75,000 and multiply it by .035, which comes to 2625. This means that your down payment for a home that costs $75,000 when using an FHA loan will be $2625. This same principle and math can be used when determining the down payment on any loan, if you know two simple things: 1. What is the amount of money you want to borrow to purchase a home? 2. What percentage down will my lender require from me?
Closing costs are an expense of finalizing your home purchase, in addition to the down payment. The term closing costs generally refers to a variety of expenses over and above the purchase price of the property that you are buying. These costs can include things such as title search fees, title insurance, taxes, various lender charges, filing and recording costs, and your prepaid home owners insurance.
There are many reasons to get pre-approved or pre-qualified. REALTORS® have an obligation to bring a ready, willing and able buyer when showing properties. The plain and simple answer is that you may be ready to buy and you may be willing to buy, but are you able to buy? If you have taken the steps to get pre-approved or pre-qualified before you begin your home search, you're saving time and possibly heartache. By having this document in your hands, you know that you have the power to move forward with a potential purchase, should you find a home that you love. Imagine that you find a home that you love and want to buy, but three other people feel the same way. Those three people all have their letters showing that they can purchase a home, so they write an offer. While you also choose to write an offer, the lack of a pre-qualification letter will mean that your offer to purchase is not as strong as the other offers. Most sellers will choose to negotiate with one of the other offers. Having your lender's letter in hand from the first day you start your search gives you the power and ability to move forward with confidence. You also will know that you are looking at homes that you can afford.
The seller has a contract with the listing agency which specifies what commission will be paid upon the sale of the home. Often, that commission amount pays both the listing agency and the agency for the buyers. The commission being offered is spelled out in Multiple Listing Society (MLS) information available to members of the MLS. If you are employing a buyer's agent, be sure to let your agent make first contact with any For Sale By Owner (FSBO) property in which you might be interested. FSBOs have not made any promise to pay commission, so your agent will attempt to negotiate a commission on your behalf. In the absence of such an agreement by the FSBO, you will be the one to pay your agent's commission.
The short answer is that a REALTOR® has far more experience in valuation and the transfer of property than the typical buyer or seller. A REALTOR® knows the pitfalls and all of the steps it takes to get from deal to closing. Whether you are buying or selling, you need a firm understanding of the property’s value in relation to the neighborhood and the condition of the property. While you can do a certain amount of research yourself using online resources, there is no substitute for the experience of having been inside hundreds or thousands of properties. One local agent with 15 years of experience said, “I have participated in over 600 transactions, and every one of them is a little bit different.” Financial fitness expert Dave Ramsey says, “You’ve put a lot of time and money into your home. Don’t leave your biggest investment in a rookie’s hands.” Seemingly small mistakes can result in big expenses. A professional REALTOR® is far more likely to see the pitfalls and avoid them.
Ask yourself if you can afford to own two homes at once, then ask your lender the same question. If you can afford to purchase without selling first, it is certainly more convenient.. You won't have to deal with being interrupted by showings or by having your home "show ready" at all times. You can move when you are ready, and you won't have the stress of timing your move with the buyer's financing, inspections, or closing. On the other hand, many homes are occupied when they are listed, and sales are often domino type sales with coordinated closings, sometimes even on the same day. Moving dates for buyer and seller are two of the many things that are negotiable.
A REALTOR® is a real estate agent who is a member of the National Association of REALTORS®. This means that he or she must uphold the Code of Ethics and Standards of the Association. REALTORS® take required ethics courses and must recertify every two years. The Code of Ethics sets REALTORS® apart from other licensees. It's "Who we R." A Real Estate Agent is anyone who has earned a real estate license. While they have continuing education requirements, they do not have required ethics training or a Code of Ethics to which they adhere.
A seller's agent represents the seller and, to put it simply, works for the seller. They list the property that the seller wants to sell. They work to market it appropriately so that it can sell quickly, for the most money possible, and with terms that satisfy the seller. A buyer's agent represents the buyer in a real estate transaction and has a written contract with the buyer to represent his/her interests above all others. The buyer's agent will show you properties, research additional properties and appropriate prices on your behalf, negotiate your offer and contract terms, and guide you through the home buying process. Some agencies also offer an option for agents to work with buyers as Transition Brokers. A Transaction Broker (actually, the "point of beginning" under Missouri Real Estate law) works to be sure the deal and all paperwork are legally in order and stay on the appropriate timeline. Transaction Brokers have no signed "representation contract" with either the buyer or the seller. If you are a buyer who wants to be represented by an agent, you and the agent sign and Exclusive Buyers Agency contract. Some agencies allow seller's agents to also work with buyers on their own listings; but those agents "represent" the seller, unless they also have permission from the seller and their broker to represent both sides of the same deal. These "dual agents" must have written agreements with both the seller and the buyer.
A Closing Disclosure is a document that gives you the final details about the loan that you have chosen. This document will show your loan terms, your estimated monthly payment, and how much you will pay in fees to obtain your loan. HUD is an acronym which stands for Housing and Urban Development. The old term "HUD1" is often used interchangeably with the term "Closing Disclosure," but they both refer to the document that spells out the financial details of your loan.
Earnest money is also known as "good faith" money. Earnest money is provided at the time of entering a contract. This money shows the seller that you are serious about purchasing. The money is deposited into an escrow account with a designated escrow agent, and it is held in the escrow account until all provisions or contingencies of the contract have been met. At the time of closing, earnest money is used toward the purchase price of the property. A down payment is the upfront money that is paid at closing in order to help secure the financing on your loan. The amount of down payment will be based on a number of factors, including the loan type and the loan amount. You may also have heard the acronym LTV, short for Loan to Value. If you pay 10 percent as your downpayment at closing, your LTV is 90 percent. In other words, your loan is for 90 percent of the property's value.
A Buyer's Market occurs in real estate when the supply or number of available properties for sale exceeds the demand or need of the buyers who are currently looking to purchase. In a Buyer's Market, properties often stay on market for an extended period of time and may have one or more price reductions while they are being marketed.
A home inspection is an inspection that the g buyers of a property can choose to get done. This inspection is not required by your lender, and the inspector for the home inspection is chosen by the buyer of. This inspection allows the buyer an opportunity to get a professional opinion about the condition of the property to determine if there are issues that the buyer did not know previously. While home inspections are usually done after a buyer goes under contract, some buyers may want to hire an inspector earlier in the process. Home inspections protect the buyer. Appraisals, on the other hand, most often protect the lender's financial interest and are generally required when you are obtaining a loan. The buyer does not choose who will do their home appraisal when a loan is being used. In fact, most lenders participate in a type of third-party lottery which selects the appraiser. The appraiser determines the value of the home. The appraiser will also make note of any repairs that must be made (predications) before the home qualifies for government financing, when the loan type is FHA, VA, or USDA (rural development). Conventional loan types usually do not have predications. Cash buyers, of course, may also hire appraisers to help value a home.
What that usually means is that the house is under contract and has not actually closed. Financed closings take from 30 to 45 days, during which time the property has not legally changed hands. Your REALTOR® can tell you whether or not the property is under contract. Occasionally, you will find that the sign remains in the yard for a few days after closing. Again, your REALTOR® can tell you what the actual status of the property is.
Ask a REALTOR®. Do NOT pay for a list, as those are often full of old and inaccurate information. Some users have found that those lists include information that is a year or more out of date. Your REALTOR® has up-to-date information and will provide it for you without cost. Purchased lists, as well as "online listings," often include pre-foreclosures. Most of those homes never actually foreclose, as the owners redeem them before the foreclosure takes place. Others may be in the NOD (Notice of Default) process, but they may be months away from foreclosure.
Most REALTORS® have some knowledge of commercial transactions in their local market. Some specialize in commercial properties. Just ask your REALTOR® about his or her experience. They can also refer you to a specialized agent that they recommend and trust. Commercial sales are different than residential sales, but your REALTOR® has access to information and legally vetted forms for both types of transactions. It is also important to note that selling a gas station is very different than selling a restaurant or am an apartment building, so you might need an agent with very specific experience. Again, just ask.
Missouri law does not require a survey, so many sales finalize without surveys. In spite of informal markers such as telephone poles, tree lines and even fences, you do not know where your property lines are unless you have a survey. Overhead views from county records and Google are not exact, and they often have a degree of “drift.” They are not legally binding, whereas a recorded survey is. Surveyors now use survey pins that are hammered down to ground level to mark the start of the boundary, so ask for a pin instead of a wooden stake. The more pins you ask for, the more certain you can be of the lines without having to try to interpret the survey language or the legal description language. On a side note, moving or removing a survey pin is illegal. Getting a survey is a wise move before you put up a fence or make any physical alteration to your lot, and one is often required as part of getting a building permit.
A home purchase is a major investment, and the inspection timeframe is your opportunity to learn details about the house before you are obligated to follow through with the contract terms. If an inspection finds a major issue with the home that you could not have seen yourself when you viewed the house, the inspection contingency allows you to request that the seller correct the issue and gives you the option of legally backing out of the home purchase if they do not. An inspection is an examination of a house’s health. Buyers who skip home inspections have later found out their homes had issues such as a failing gas or sewer lines, electrical fire hazards in the form of mismatched wire and safety breakers, failing roof coverings, and non-functional or poorly functioning HVAC. An appraisal is not a substitute for a home inspection. They look for different things, and they serve different purposes. Appraisals protect lenders; inspections protect buyers.
A final walk-thru is another one of the safety measures that a contract provided by a licensed REALTOR® defines. As mentioned, a financed closing typically takes 30 to 45 days, and the walk-thru is your chance to make sure that no major changes have happened to the house during that timeframe. The standard state contract specifies that any damages done to the house between going under contract and closing are the seller’s responsibility to correct. However, going to the closing and signing the final documents indicates you are accepting the current condition of the house. If you by-pass the walk-thru, you cannot prove that the house was damaged before the closing time. Buyers who pass up the final walk-thru may walk into their new home to find that the house has a broken water pipe and now has water damage (which is immediately the buyer's responsibility because they did not object to it prior to closing), or that agreed-upon repairs were not made, or that damage was done during the seller's move out.
The only things the seller is obligated to leave are the items that are screwed down. Most appliances are not permanently fastened to the home and are, therefore, personal property that does not stay. Appliances, such as the refrigerator or the washer and dryer, may be included as an option of the contract, but they must be specifically listed on the contract as staying. Many sellers will indicate on the listing if they are willing to leave some or all of the appliances, but buyers will want to make sure that the terms of the contract clarify any item that they specifically want to stay. Water softeners, for instance, are often leased and cannot be conveyed as part of the house. Relatively new to the real estate scene are solar panels. The exact status of solar panels should always be determined during the contract process, as they may be part of a lease purchase agreement, They also may have non-negotiable contractual terms that will pass through to the new owner. Curtains and bedspreads (even if they match the wallpaper) do not automatically stay. Light fixtures and high end faucets, for instance, are attached and are examples of items that do stay. So, "No, the refrigerator probably does not stay...unless it is on the contract." See why you need a REALTOR®? By the way, the wallpaper does stay.
Curb appeal makes your home more attractive to buyers and aids in bringing you a higher return on the sale of the home. First impressions are important, not just for online photos, but for every viewing appointment. Keep the lawn mowed, spruce up the entry, add some colorful flowers and more prospects will take the time to look at your home online and in person. Though if they may have liked your home's online presence, some buyers will not even get out of the car, if the "in person" home does not make the same impression as the online photos did.
Title insurance protects the insured from a financial loss related to the legal ownership status of a property. Two policies are in the mix at a home loan closing: the lender's policy, with is required, and an optional owner's policy. Lenders insist on title insurance to protect their interest in the loan and that makes sense, because they're on the hook for the majority of the home's value, especially in the early years of the mortgage. Your lender knows how important title insurance is, and that is why they require a policy that protects them until the loan is paid in full. The optional owner's policy takes over after the loan is paid off, if one was purchased. A title defect that arises after your loan is paid off could, at the very least, mean a variety of legal costs - and, in a worst-case event, the loss of your property and the money you've put in it.
When you make an offer on a home you will write and earnest money check that will be place in "escrow." That means it isn't going directly to the seller but is being held by an impartial third party until you and seller negotiate a contract and close the deal. You can't touch it and the seller can't touch it. That's important because it protects both parties. Say you put down earnest money that went directly to the seller and then couldn't reach a final purchase and sale agreement. You don't want the seller holding your earnest money hostage as a negotiating ploy. Likewise, the seller won't want to sign over the deed to the home until you've paid for it. You wouldn't want to hand over cash without the deed being signed. Escrow ensures everyone gets what they are due at essentially the same time.
Predications are requirements set forth by an appraiser. The appraisers' value is contingent upon the correction of those predications before closing of the loan. An example of a predication is a requirement to install a railing or to eliminate peeling paint.
The first step is to evaluate your finances to determine whether you can qualify for a mortgage and have enough cash for a down payment, as well as other necessities like closing costs, a home inspection, appraisal and moving costs. Credit scores play a big part in this decision. Getting pre-qualified for a loan lets you know how much house you can afford and how much your payments will be. You can then determine if purchasing a home is affordable for you at this time. After your pre-qualification, call a professional REALTOR® and sit down with them and talk about your wants and needs and what you can afford to buy. Owning a home has some great advantages!
Many banks participate with agencies in providing financing to beginning farmers including Aggie Bond programs and guaranteed financing through USDA. Although it is uncommon, some banks have created local beginning farmer financing initiatives that link funds from depositors to a special lending pool available to beginning farmers. Inquire with your local bank if such a program is available.
There are federal, state, and sometimes local laws that protect fair housing for all. Those laws, at a federal level, apply to every one of us. There might be some variations on local laws where additional protected classes are named. Real estate agents and lenders are not allowed to steer buyers to or from areas based on the buyer's race or several other protected criteria. HUD and the Fair Housing Alliance report that there are frequent violations. Many times, a licensee did not believe they were steering or discriminating against a protected class … BUT... the consumer or a tester might interpret what was said to be a violation. Most agents extend substantial efforts to support fair housing laws, and the vast majority of agents fully believe in and support fair housing for all. Because statements can be easily misconstrued, agents will take a position of high sensitivity to risk.
If you are in the process of selling your home and buying a new one, then you are probably asking this question, "how long does it take to close on a house?" Although closing on your home can be a relatively straightforward process (there are thousands of home sales closed daily), the national average was 46 days in 2018. "Closing" day is a multi-step process. Usually the buyer signs first (signing loan paperwork can take an hour or more, whereas the buyer process in a cash sale takes only a few minutes), then the seller signs (taking only a few minutes). Funding takes place after all of the paperwork is signed, and that often entails the wiring of funds between banking institutions. Funding and verification can take a few minutes to a few hours, depending on the time of the month and how busy the two institutions are. The last business day of the month is almost always the busiest day. Once funding has taken place and is verified, the seller usually turns over the keys. The final step in the process is recordation of the deed. The legal transfer of property is not final until that important step takes place.
The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) Elevation Certificate (EC) is an administrative tool used by the NFIP. It is used to provide elevation information necessary to ensure compliance with community floodplain management ordinances; to determine the proper insurance premium rate; and or support a request for a Letter of Map Amendment (LOMA) to remove a building from the Special Flood Hazard Area. Lending institutions determine the floodplain status of homes they finance.
Neither flood damage or earthquake damage are automatically part of your home owner's insurance. Both coverages require separate riders or policies. If your home is found to be in a "flood plain," the loan company you are using will require flood insurance. Even if you are not financing your purchase, it is good to protect your investment, if the home is in a flood plain. Most lenders do not currently require earthquake insurance, though there is no doubt that Southeast Missouri is in an earthquake zone. Still, it is good to protect your investment, and adequate insurance does that.
PMI means "Private Mortgage Insurance." If you're making a down payment of less than 20% on a home, it's important to understand what mortgage insurance is and how it works. Private mortgage insurance (PMI) isn't just for people who can't afford a 20% down payment. It's also for people who don't want to put down 20% so they have more cash on hand for repairs, remodeling, furnishings and emergencies. If the concept of buying insurance on your mortgage sounds a little odd, you're probably a newcomer to buying property or never purchased with a small down payment. Most lenders require PMI when a homebuyer makes a down payment of less than 20% of the home's purchase price. In mortgage terms, that means the mortgage loan-to-value (LTV) ratio exceeds 80%. The higher the LTV ratio, the higher the risk profile of the mortgage. Unlike most types of insurance, the policy protects the lender's investment in the home, not yours. On the other hand, PMI makes it possible for people to become homeowners sooner. PMI allows borrowers to obtain financing if they can only afford (or prefer) to put down just 5% to 19.99% of the residence's cost, but it comes with additional monthly costs. Borrowers pay their PMI until they have accumulated enough equity in the home that the lender no longer considers them high-risk. PMI costs can range from 0.25% to 2% (but typically runs about 0.5 to 1%) of your loan balance per year, depending on the size of the down payment and mortgage, the loan term, and your credit score. The greater your risk factors, the higher the rate you pay. Also, because PMI is a percentage of the loan amount, the more you borrow, the more PMI you’ll pay. There are six major PMI companies in the United States. They charge similar rates, which are adjusted annually.
No, they cannot once the paperwork has been signed by all parties. Until your negotiation results in a fully executed contract, however, a seller may accept another offer and go under contract with that buyer. After a fully-executed contract is signed, a seller may still accept and sign a back-up offer; but that offer cannot bump yours out of first position, unless your contract has unresolved contingencies. Be sure to discuss your contract's contingencies, if any, with your REALTOR®.
You and the seller are both bound by that contract and can only get out based upon the contingencies agreed upon in the contract.
The listing agent must present every offer to the seller as soon as possible unless otherwise instructed by the seller. A seller may or may not ask for each buyer's "highest and best" offer, but the decision is solely up to the seller. They might accept or negotiate with the first, the last, or any offer in between, rather than giving everyone an additional chance. A common misconception is that a seller has to respond to one offer before accepting others. The seller is not under contract with you and you are not under contract with them, simply because an offer is on the table. As a buyer, you have no property rights until the seller agrees to and signs your offer. It is important to understand that the property is wholly owned by the seller, and making an offer does not grant automatic status to a would-be buyer. If you really want the property, your first offer may be your only chance to make an offer; so consider putting your best foot forward.
Possession date is determined by the contract. Ownership is conveyed officially when the transfer has been recorded with the county.
Though the interpretation of the term may vary, it usually refers to the charges that are pre-funded into an escrow account for yearly taxes, insurance, and HOA or condo fees.
Staging is a method of emphasizing your home’s best qualities. Staging can help a home sell for top dollar in a desired amount of time. If you are going to sell your car, you would go get it detailed. You want to do the same for your home. Staging is not simply a matter of decorating. A good stager will know how to draw the viewer's attention to the details the stager wants to highlight. Staging can entail anything from a few touches to complete furnishing of a vacant house. Ask your stager about what training she/he has and require a written agreement that details the cost and the proposed work to be done.
Things to consider when deciding whether or not to remodel in “our market” - When the home was last remodeled - How the competition looks - Always speak to a REALTOR® and discuss how much you want to spend - The amount you can put into remodeling varies depending on the general price range of the house to begin with and upon the general price range of the neighborhood.
It all depends on your circumstances. The best thing to do is to discuss your options with a lender. Be prepared to disclose details about your finances. Two years of tax returns, two months of your most recent bank statements, and your two most recent pay stubs are good things to bring to the lender, as well as a list of all of your credit card and other payments. If you cannot miss work in order to meet with a lender initially, many local loan officers have online applications that you can fill out at your convenience to get the process started. We have a list of lenders on this page. All of them have loan officers who will get your process started over the phone or over the internet at a time convenient to you.
Radon is a naturally occurring gas that you do not see or smell, that can come into your home and can cause serious illness.
Missouri is a non-disclosure state, meaning a sales price is not public information. Therefore online estimates may not be accurate in your area.
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