Lenn Harley does an excellent job sharing with you many facts that some in the real estate industry make it seem like these are hidden secrets. Each secret that Lenn points out should be known and or discussed when buying a home. You should become an educated buyer and or seller. Overall, just be aware of what is truly out there.
PROTECT OUR HOME PURCHASE AND PROTECT YOUR REAL ESTATE INVESTMENT
Secret: Dark roofs do not last as long as light color roofs. Further, light roofs reduce air conditioning costs by reflecting sunlight.
Secret: Interest on your mortgage loan and real estate taxes are deducted from your gross income before computing your income tax. Wow.
Secret: The agent's whose name is on the FOR SALE sign in the yard has promised the seller that he/she will get the best price for the seller.
Secret: Earnest money deposits can be forfeited if a buyer falsely represents his/her financial ability to obtain financing.
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: The advertisement for homes for sale in the newspaper 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.
Secret: Oral real estate agreements may be legal but are not enforceable.
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: Agents must disclose in writing which, if any, party they represent..
Secret: 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.
Secret: If the furnace filter is very dirty, that is a good indication of poor maintenance which will shorten the life of the system.
Secret: Carpet replacement does not always eliminate pet odor.
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?
Secret: Foreclosures may sell for less than home owner occupant properties. Short sales usually sell for less than then owner owes.
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 are guaranteed by the Veterans Administration and there is no Private Mortgage Insurance required.
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. Many home owners will not accept a contract offer with a lead based paint test contingency.
Secret: Termites gain access to many homes through mulch used in landscaping beds.
Secret: Most homeowners in Northern Virginia own their home less than 5 years.
Secret: Most co-workers fib about their commute time.
Secret: Offers to purchase real estate in Northern Virginia are in writing.
Courtesy, Lenn Harley, Broker, Homefinders.com, 800-711-7988.
Source: Reston Virginia Real Estate. Copyright 2002 Lenn Harley
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