This is an ongoing collection (starting today) of posts answering frequently asked questions from people who are buying or selling homes in the Kansas City area*. See also Home Buyer Tips and Advice, Sellers Tips & Advice, or Funny Stories and Parables.
How long does a Showing last? This is something many sellers worry about. How long do they need to be 'gone' while the buyers look through their home?
Showing Tips For The Hot Summer Temperatures in Kansas City reach the triple digits during the summer. Heat makes people tired and sometimes cranky. What can a seller do to make buyers find their home more attractive than any other in the heat?
What can I do to make my home more appealing to buyers? It's not just about curb appeal - that only gets the buyers inside the door. Once they're in, what can you do to make them linger and write an offer to buy it?
How do I buy the house? The home buying process can be confusing to someone who's never before purchased a home of their own. This article explains the entire process step by step so buyers can be prepared for and understand what is happening as they go from making the initial offer to Closing.
What's the best App to use to see homes for sale on my smartphone? This is the best app I've found to see homes for sale as you're cruising the neighborhood you want to buy in. It's specific to the 5,000 miles surrounding Kansas City. It's updated directly with MLS every 10 minutes and has photos, details, and contact info to make an appointment.
Can you elaborate on that bit about the Inspection Period? The Homebuyer's Guide takes you through the buying process in more detail.
How long does a hot water heater last? This one's for home buyers as well as home owners. Once you own a home, how long can you expect the furnace & AC to last? When do you change the filter in the furnace?
Who does that agent represent? For some reason, this is something that continually confuses people. It is also the source of feelings of betrayal amongst unwary buyers who didn't take time to find out how real estate transactions are conducted.
What is Buyer Agency? This is a fairly new concept in real estate. Caveat Emptor (Buyer Beware) was neutralized in the 1990's by Consumer Advocacy Groups campaigning and demanding that Congress address the problem.
How much does a real estate agent cost? Home buyers are working within their budget. They need to know what expenses they may incur when buying a home.
Can you explain how commission works? Real estate transactions are not the same as personal property transactions and neither are the commissions. This article offers an in-depth look at how commissions are determined, split and paid.
How do I get the really good deals on a house? We all hear about people who get those really good deals on houses or land. How do they do it?
How are Showings arranged? Buyers sometimes think that they can just call the number on the sign and go in and see the house when they're sitting in front of it. The real estate agent is not in the home waiting for you; they are out working and will need to arrange their schedule to accommodate you, their other clients, and the sellers. There is actually a procedure to arrange showings so that all parties involved can coordinate their activities around scheduled showings.
When is the best time to sell my home? This is one of the most often asked questions by people when they are planning to sell their home. Read this if you want to learn more about how to get the best price in the shortest tiime.
How Do I Buy An MLS Number? There is some confusion amongst the general public regarding the MLS. This article explains how the MLS works, who owns & maintains it, and how MLS numbers are generated.
What is the best way to market my house for sale on the internet? Originally written for real estate agents, this article details the various ways and places your home can be advertised to reach the most buyers.
How can I sell my house for the best price fast? Most homeowners when they decide to sell, want to sell their home for the highest possible price in the shortest amount of time. This is one example of how that's done.
References for Maria Morton Clients tell, in their own words, what they think of my work.
Do I really need a Buyer's Agent? Can't I just call any agent to show me the house? Sure, you can; this article tells you what you'll get.
What exactly are Closing Costs and how much can I expect to pay? This is one I hear from both buyers and sellers. Even people who have bought and sold houses in the past forget exactly what all is included in closing costs. If it's been a few years since their last home purchase - or if the sale was in a different state - the costs may be different.
Can I make a verbal offer to buy a house? You probably already know the answer to this one but how legible does a written offer need to be?
Why Don't You Post Your Pick For The Best Deal on a House Every Week? This explains why it's not always in my client's best interest to do so.
How Low Do You Think They'll Go? This is a question most buyers ask as we are constructing the initial offer. Originally written with real estate investors in mind, some owner-occupant buyers have found this article to be helpful during negotiations.
9 Things You Can Do To Sell Your Multi-Family Property This is for agents as well as property owners wishing to sell. Multi-Family Properties is a niche market. The number of buyers for this property is limited so you need to do everything you can to attract them and get the building sold for a good price.
15 Ways to improve your home's curb appeal 15 inexpensive things you can do to make your home show better from the outside.
Examples of Houses with Great Curb Appeal Just what it sounds like! Maybe you'll get some ideas.
How do lockboxes work? Ever wondered about those blue boxes on houses listed for sale? Learn how they work and who has access.
How Do I Know If I Got A Good Agent To Sell My House? A short, almost funny example of something you do not want in a Listing Agent.
5 Thngs a real estate agent cannot do This is for my clients who think I'm superwoman.
Do you know Jack? Do not read this article unless you have a good sense of humor!
Why Does the Lender Need All That Information? Shades of DB Cooper - does not exist!
What if I want to sell my house without using a professional real estate agent? This is for all the For Sale By Owners (FSBO's). Only about 10% of homes advertised for sale by the owners actually make it to closing. This article gives you all the information you need to be in that 10%.
9 Out of 10 Home Buyers This article tells you what home buyers are looking for today.
Big Business, Banks, and Third Parties in Real Estate A brief synopsis of what really happens when buying foreclosures and dealing with disassociated third parties in local real estate transactions. Who pays the price and at what cost?
I hope you found some useful information here. I will continue to add real estate questions and answers to this post as people ask them. Thanks for stopping by!
Neighborhoods Reference page
*The Kansas City Greater Metropolitan Area includes both Kansas and Missouri. Fairway, Prairie Village, Mission Hills, Mission, Brookside, Waldo, Downtown KCMO, KCK, Overland Park, Leawood, Shawnee, Shawnee Mission, Lenexa, Olathe, Stillwell, Blue Springs, Lee's Summit, Independence, Raytown, North Kansas City, Gladstone, Riverside, Parkville, Smithville Lake, Lake Quivira, Lake Tapawingo, Lake Waukomis, Westwood, Westwood Hills, Belton, Grandview, Raymore, etc. Counties within the Kansas City area include Jackson, Clay, Ray & Platte in MO, and Johnson, Wyandotte and part of Miami on the KS side, Heartland MLS (Multiple Listing Service) covers more than 5,000 square miles so some of the listings found on our site are beyond the edges of the Greater Metropolitan area.