Reblogger Coleen DeGroff
Real Estate Agent with Coldwell Banker M.M. Parrish Realtors BK3216615


Awesome advice.....Please Read!!!


Original content by Lenn Harley 303829;0225082372

REAL ESTATE SECRETS THE AGENT MAY NOT TELL YOU (Originally published September 6, 2007.  The market has changed dramatically and so have some of the tips below.)


Sound serious??  We hope so. The important thing is for us to get your attention before you hit the road with a real estate agent that may not be working in your best interest. Consider the following:

Secret: Dark roofs often do not last as long as light colored roofs. Further, light roofs reduce air conditioning costs by  Homes in MD and VAreflecting sunlight.  Your home inspector will estimate the remaining expected life of the roof as a part of the home inspection. 

Secret:  Attics were meant for ventilation.  If you store belongings in the attic of a home, you may reduce the life of the roof.  Ventilation prevents moisture and mold growth in attics. 

Secret:  If you put flooring over the insulation in your attic floor, you may reduce the insulation properties of the material.  Insulation works best when loose and deep.

Secret: Interest on your mortgage loan and real estate taxes are deducted from your gross income before computing your income tax. Wow.

Secret:  Your home inspector cannot order repairs.  Unless agreed in writing, the seller can agree, refuse or negotiate repairs. 

Secret: The agent's whose name is on the FOR SALEsign in the yard has promised the seller that he/she will get the best price for the seller.  The only information required of a seller's representative would be "material defects".  General condition of a property should be obtained the a home inspection with a contingency to void the contract if the house has serious maintenance, structural problems.

Secret: You can avoid Private Mortgage Insurance with down payments of less than 80% by using the 80/20 loan or 80/15/5 loan.  Many loan instruments popular in the past that helped home buyers avoid Private Mortgage Insurance are no longer available.  FHA and VA financing has gained in popularity with higher loan limits. 

Secret:  Radon inspections are inexpensive and Radon remediation averages about $1,500 or less.

Radon Map Zone 1 = High

Fix your home if your radon level is 4 picoCuries per liter (pCi/L) or higher. Radon levels less than 4 pCi/L still pose a risk, and in many cases may be reduced.

Secret: Earnest money deposits may be forfeited if a buyer falsely represents his/her financial ability to obtain financing.  Buyers who do not cooperate with the financing paragraphs and cause the seller to keep the home off market have caused the seller serious damages and may not get their earnest mondy deposit refunded.

Secret: Real estate agents who work for companies that own lenders, title companies, termite companies, etc. often receive benefits for referrals to those affiliates. 

Secret:  Termite Warranties do not protect your home from termite damage.  Termites cannot read.  Get a termite inspection

Secret: The advertisement for homes for sale in the newspaper, home magazines are placed there by the agent that works for the seller.

Secret: Sellers cannot hide material defects by not providing a Property Condition Disclosure Statement. A material defect is a condition that would or may affect the value of the real estate or present a safety hazard.

Secret: Oral statements are not binding. 

Secret: There is no cooling off period or rescission period unless it is written into the contract. Once the contract is signed and accepted by both parties, it is a legally binding document.

Secret: Personal property does not convey with the real estate. Washer/dryer, etc.must be written in the contract to convey.

Secret: In most states, agents must disclose in writing which party, if any, they represent.

Secret:  When sellers with dog and cat pets move out, they often leave a growing infestation of fleas behind.

Secret: In most states, real estate conveys "as is", meaning - What you see is what you get. However, at the final pre-settlement walk through, appliances, heating/cooling electrical and plumbing must operate as the manufacturer intended.  The "as is" condition may be conditioned on an acceptable home inspection.

Secret: If the furnace filter is very dirty, that is a good indication of poor maintenance.

family homeSecret: Carpet replacement does not always eliminate pet odor.  Carpet "allowances" may not always be permitted with certain types of financing.  Serious home inspections should be made of homes for sale with pets in residence. 

Secret: Home owner additions may not have been code/safety inspected by the county. Who inspected the homeowner installed electrical wiring behind that finished basement wall.  Subsequent owners may have to remove additions, upgrades, etc. if code violations are discovered.  Or, the county may perform "after the fact" code inspections.

Secret: Foreclosures do not always (or even often) sell for less than market. They often sell for more than similar homes in the area.  Foreclosures are usually priced based on an appraisal or comparable sales in the area and then "discounted" for condition. 

Watch out for pet odors when selecting a home to buy.

Secret: Most new home contracts do not have financing contingencies for buyers.

Secret: Conventional loans with less than a 20% down payment usually will require that buyers pay for Private Mortgage Insurance; FHA loans are insured by HUD; VA loans (or a percentage of the loan) are guaranteed by the Veterans Administration.

Secret: Only a buyer's agent can help you negotiate the best possible price, terms and conditions for a home you want to buy. Seller's agent (listing agent) is obligated to obtain the best price, terms and conditions for the seller.

Secret: Homes constructed prior to 1978 may contain lead based paint. You can have a home inspected for lead based paint before or after settlement.  Sellers do not have to agree to mitigate lead based paint.

Secret: Termites gain access to many homes through mulch used in landscaping beds.

Secret: Most co-workers fib about their commute time.

Secret: Offers to purchase real estate that are not in writing may not be enforceable. 

Secret:  Offers to negotiate the price of a home listed for sale have a much higher likelihood of being accepted than an oral offer. 

Secret:  Short Sale contracts between a buyer and a seller/owner are contingent on acceptance by a "third party" which is the owner/seller's lender.  A buyer may cancel a short sale contract up until the time a seller's lender has approved the contract and the buyer's deposit money should not be deposited until the owner/seller's lender has removed the "third party" contingency. 

Secret:  Foreclosures sold by banks favor investment buyers using with cash or with high down payments, no home inspections and/or quick settlement times.

Courtesy:  Lenn Harley, Broker,, 800-711-7988, E-mail.

Copyright 2007 Lenn Harley


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Coleen DeGroff

Haile Plantation Real Estate - Gainesville FL
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