Resources

Pricing Your Home To Sell

In addition to location and condition, the asking price of a home is at the top of the list of important considerations.  When a potential buyer is looking for a property, they want to get the best possible value for their dollar.  This doesn’t mean that a home should be priced too low, but it does mean that knowing how to price your home is a must.

Know The Value

Regardless of whether you are in a buyer’s market or seller’s market, it’s important for every seller to know the actual value of their home with the help of an appraisal.  With this information, you will be able to choose a listing price that does not exceed the home’s value.  At the same time, you will know how to react to various offers that a potential buyer may make.  If you can select a price that is affordable to a range of buyers, you may receive multiple offers thereby sparking a possible competition among the interested parties.

Do Your Homework

The asking price that you choose should not be based on an appraisal alone, but rather a combination of factors.  One such factor is that of recent selling prices for comparable homes in the area known as “comps.”  Important comparisons include construction year, square footage, views (if applicable), interior upgrades and additional features that make the home unique.  While you’re doing research, check out current listings and the asking price for each home available in your area.

Set A Realistic Timetable

In researching the sale price for other comparable homes in the area, you should also note the length of time a particular house has been on the market.  Some homes practically sell overnight, while others may remain on the market for months without being sold.  If you want to sell your home quickly, you should consider this when setting a price.  A bargain will obviously move quicker, but it’s important to make enough from the sale to feel good about your choice.  If you aren’t in a hurry to close, talk with your realtor about a fair starting price that’s at or near the appraised value of your home.

Ask Your REALTOR® For Advice

While you hold the key, so to speak, to your house’s actual asking price, most sellers will ask their REALTOR® for their opinion.  After all, real estate is their business and they will be working with you through every step of the process.  If you choose a REALTOR® that you trust, give great consideration to the advice they offer.

What Is An Earnest Money Deposit?

An earnest money deposit, also known as a good faith deposit, is a specific dollar amount that a potential buyer pays to the seller in an effort to display their serious interest in a property.  It’s important to note that an earnest money deposit is not the same as a down payment.

The Purpose Of An Earnest Money Deposit

An earnest money deposit is used to secure a purchase contract, which means the buyer doesn’t have to worry about the property being sold out from underneath them.  Without an agreement, the seller would be free to sell the home at anytime.  An earnest money deposit, however, secures the availability of the home as the potential buyer obtains an inspection, appraisal and financing for the purchase.

How Much Good Faith Is Enough

So, just how much of an earnest money deposit is required?  Truthfully, it depends on a number of factors, including the home’s purchase price, your location and the standard as set by other sellers.  In most cases, the earnest money deposit is negotiable and the seller will be happy in knowing that the potential buyer is serious enough to offer their money in good faith.

How An Earnest Money Deposit Is Used

If the transaction is successful and the buyer follows through with the purchase, an earnest money deposit is most commonly refunded to the buyer or applied to closing costs.  If the buyer defaults or is unable to obtain financing, the seller often has the discretion to retain the earnest money deposit as damages or as otherwise described in the purchase agreement.

Using Your Dollars And Sense

When it comes to an earnest money deposit, it’s essential that buyers know who should receive the money and how to handle the payment.  In most cases, the deposit should be made payable and presented to a licensed real estate broker, an attorney or escrow company.  Your REALTOR® can assist in getting your earnest money deposit into the right hands.  It’s important to obtain a receipt, which should clearly outline the purpose of the deposit.  The funds will be handled in accordance with the purchase agreement and/or as agreed upon by both the buyer and seller.

Before handing over a good faith deposit, make sure that you have faith in the person accepting your money.  Potential buyers should not give an earnest money deposit directly to the seller, nor should they give it to anyone who claims to be with a brokerage firm unless their credentials are verified.

Calculating Your Monthly Mortgage Payments

One of the most important factors to consider when buying a new home is affordability.  As a general rule, mortgage payments should not exceed 25-30 percent of your monthly take-home pay.  The best way to know what you can afford is to determine the possible payment range by comparing the price of the home with other essential ingredients.

Figure Out How Much You Want To Borrow

Your first step to calculating your monthly mortgage payment is knowing how much you want to borrow.  This can be determined by subtracting your down payment amount from the purchase price of the home, which will give you the amount that you will need to request from a lender.

Know Your Rates

The next step is to determine the current interest rates for the purchase of a home.  Rates vary and may change often, so check with your lender for current rates.  It’s worth noting that the interest rates you receive will, in part, be based on your credit history.  This means that knowing your FICO score and credit rating will give you a good idea as to how your interest rates will be calculated.

Choose Your Loan Term

Your monthly mortgage payments will be determined by a number of factors, including the term of your loan.  If you were to borrow $250,000, your monthly payments would be less with a 30-year mortgage than with a 15-year mortgage.  The reason is because it would take larger monthly payments to get the loan paid off quicker, which is why you will need to select a loan term before calculating your payments.

Additional Costs To Consider

Your total mortgage payment will include taxes, homeowner’s insurance and possibly even private mortgage insurance (PMI) if you provide less than 20 percent down and your loan requires it.

Just The Facts & Figures

Now that you know how much you need to borrow, have chosen your loan term and are familiar with the current interest rates, it’s time to calculate your payment.  Most lenders offer a mortgage calculator on their Web site or you can get an estimate by speaking with your lender.

If you still need help in calculating your potential monthly mortgage payments, don’t hesitate to give us a call.

First Time Home Buyer Resource Brochure

Wisconsin Real Estate ResourcesThis downloadable PDF provides information for the first time home buyer. Educate yourself with the process of looking for and financing a home. Contact Pahnke Real Estate, LLC. for more information or to begin the search for your first home.

First Time Home Buyer

 

 

 

Why Use a REALTOR®

 Many consumers consider selling their home directly but eventually turn to REALTORS®. Smart home sellers realize they need the expertise in pricing their home, making connections with REALTORS® working with buyers, arranging and staffing open houses, and coordinating with other professionals in the sales process.

Only about half of all real estate agents are REALTORS® – the top half, in our not-so-humble opinion. REALTORS® work independently, for small agencies, or for large brokerages. They help people buy and sell residential or commercial properties, vacation homes, and land; they conduct appraisals; they operate in the United States and in other countries; some specialize in auctions; and others are buyer’s representatives.

Move or Remodel
Are you considering a move? Check out HouseLogic, NAR’s new consumer site, to analyze the pros and cons of moving or staying put, plus lots more information about owning a home.

REALTORS® Are Experts

Eighty-five percent of sellers were assisted by a real estate agent when selling their home, according to NAR Research, and 79 percent of buyers purchased their home through a real estate agent or broker.

Why Use a REALTOR®?
Real estate transactions involve one of the biggest financial investments most people experience in their lifetime. Here are 12 ways a REALTOR® will make your home buying or selling experience better.

REALTORS® Are Part of the Community

REALTORS® Work to End Housing Discrimination – during April, which is Fair Housing Month, and all year long. REALTORS® are active members of their communities.

REALTORS® Protect You

 

Only REALTORS® Follow a Code of Ethics
To be a member of NAR and a REALTOR®, a real estate agent must abide by a set of professional principles and serve clients fairly.

Learn how the Code of Ethics affects everyday real estate practices

Specialty Mortgages: What Are the Risks and Advantages?
A growing number of home buyers are deciding to use one of several new types of specialty mortgages that let them “stretch” their income so they can qualify for a larger loan. Before you decide whether a specialty mortgage is for you, read this brochure.