What are my selling costs going to be?

To make an informed decision about the arrangements and conditions for selling your property, you need to know the costs you will incur on a sale. Selling costs consume some of the price you will receive and thus reduce the amount of net sales proceeds on closing.

Selling costs you will likely incur in the preparation and sale of your property include:

  • Home inspection report (HIR): The fee a home inspection company charges to conduct an inspection of the property and provide an HIR you use to properly prepare your transfer disclosure statement (TDS) your agent hands to prospective buyers.
  • Structural pest control report and clearance: The fee a pest control operator charges to inspect and submit a report on their findings and the costs of repairs necessary to eliminate any infestation and repair any existing damage or condition allowing for infestation.
  • Compliance with local ordinances: The costs associated with retrofitting, curative permits and any repairs necessary to meet local ordinance standards as a requisite to a change in ownership.
  • Natural Hazard Disclosure (NHD) report: The fee charged by a third party for a review of the county records and the preparation and submission of an NHD report on the natural hazards affecting the property due to its location.
  • Smoke detector/water heater safety compliance: The costs incurred to install smoke detectors and water heater bracing to comply with local ordinances.
  • Home warranty insurance: The premium charged by a home warranty insurance company to issue a policy to the buyer.
  • Escrow fee: The amount charged for escrow services to process the closing of the sale.
  • Recording fees/documentary transfer tax: The combined recording fees and transfer taxes collected by the county recorder to convey title.
  • Title insurance premium: The premium the title insurance company charges to issue a policy of title insurance on your conveyance of the property.
  • Reconveyance fees: The reconveyance fees and recording fees charged when your mortgage is paid off to release the mortgage liens from the record title to the property sold.
  • Broker fees: The fees earned by the transaction brokers and paid on the close of escrow for the sale of your property.

Your agent estimates the expenses you are likely to incur on a sale of your property by preparing a seller’s net sales proceeds sheet and reviewing it with you when listing your property for sale and reviewing the merits of each offer received to buy your property.

Thinking about selling? Let me help make your home selling success or if you’re ready to begin the selling process, give me a call today!

Stella Bonin
Associate Broker

West USA Realty (Arizona)
Burke Real Estate Consultants (California)
480.797.4884 / 619.250.6214
stella.bonin@yahoo.com

Follow me on Twitter: @stellabonin1

Join my Facebook International Real Estate Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/irealestate/

https://www.facebook.com/myrealestateservices/

I am licensed in California and Arizona and we have a great team to serve you with members around the world.

California Bureau of Real Estate Lic. # 01222569
Arizona Department of Real Estate Lic. # BR550696000

“Equal Housing Opportunity”

What to expect when making an offer?

During the initial stage of a real estate sales transaction, offers and counteroffers are prepared and submitted between buyers and sellers. When your offer is unacceptable to the seller they will likely make a written counteroffer to sell on different terms. If everyone is willing, a compromise in terms is reached, an acceptance occurs and a binding agreement is the result.

To be valid, your offer to buy needs to:

• show a serious intent to enter into an agreement;
• be definite and clear in detailing the essential elements of the purchase agreement and property identification; and
• be communicated to the person able to accept the offer.

On submission of your offer to the seller, it is either:

• accepted prior to its expiration; or
• rejected.

The seller’s acceptance of your offer forms a binding agreement. However, the agreement is typically not yet enforceable by actual performance — a closing — due to conditions stated in the agreement.

In contrast, a seller rejects your offer by:

• returning a signed, written rejection stating no counteroffer will be forthcoming;
• preparing and submitting a counteroffer, using either a counteroffer form or a purchase agreement form stating different terms; or
• doing nothing, and letting your offer expire — no response.

Without first preparing and submitting a counteroffer, the seller may make an inquiry into your willingness to consider different terms. The inquiry for clarifications or changes is not a counteroffer or rejection of your written offer. Such an inquiry does not bar the seller from a later but timely acceptance to form a binding agreement.

However, when the seller attempts to accept your offer by first altering its terms in some way prior to signing the acceptance provision, the change in terms creates a counteroffer to perform on different terms. The written counter is a rejection which terminates your offer.

The seller’s agent has a duty owed to their seller to present every purchase offer they receive, regardless of the terms offered or the form used to present it. However, neither the seller nor their agent has any legal duty to respond to an offer. A failure to respond to an offer does not automatically mean your offer was not presented to the seller. Further, the offer need not be prepared on a form to be enforceable.

In fact, the back of a business card may be used to make an offer. However, provisions in boiler-plate purchase agreement forms state the essential terms and conditions of an offer needed to make it clear, complete and enforceable when accepted.

Thinking about selling or buying? Let me help make your home buying or sell a success or if you’re ready to begin the buying or selling process, give me a call today!

Stella Bonin
Associate Broker

West USA Realty (Arizona)
Burke Real Estate Consultants (California)
480.797.4884 / 619.250.6214
stella.bonin@yahoo.com

Follow me on Twitter: @stellabonin1

Join my Facebook International Real Estate Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/irealestate/

https://www.facebook.com/myrealestateservices/

I am licensed in California and Arizona and we have a great team to serve you with members around the world.

California Bureau of Real Estate Lic. # 01222569
Arizona Department of Real Estate Lic. # BR550696000

“Equal Housing Opportunity”

What will my homebuyer costs be and how much cash will I need?

To determine how much cash-on-hand you will need to buy the home, a trip to a couple
of mortgage lenders is necessary. Your visit with the lenders helps you determine:

• the maximum dollar amount of purchase-assist, fixed rate mortgage (FRM) funds you are pre-approved to borrow for the purchase of a property that qualifies as security for the mortgage; and

• the lender’s loan estimate of the dollar amount of all costs you will incur to obtain the maximum FRM you qualify to borrow.

The lender’s Loan Estimate, prepared on a uniform disclosure form for comparative shopping, includes your projected:

• monthly payments;

• taxes, insurance and assessments;

• closing costs; and

• total cash-on-hand needed to close
During the conferences with lenders, your agent inquires about any restrictions the lender may place on their different mortgage commitments. For example, a loan-to-value ratio (LTV) may require a minimum down payment of up to 20% of the price paid for a property. Down payments smaller than 20% require mortgage insurance, which is an additional expense to the monthly payment.

Also, the lender may place limitations on the seller’s payment of your nonrecurring transactional and financing costs, such as permitting the seller to pay all, a limited portion or none of the costs of acquisition and funding.

With knowledge of any lender restrictions, your agent is able to structure purchase agreement offers to shift large amounts of transactional and financing charges to the seller. Thus, the charges may be paid by the seller out of funds the seller receives from you, not paid by you separately, which reduce the funds you have available to buy property. By shifting acquisition costs to the seller, you can acquire a more valuable property with more amenities or make a larger down payment and avoid the cost of mortgage insurance since you will have more funds available to buy a home.

Thinking about selling or buying? Let me help make your home buying or sell a success or if you’re ready to begin the buying or selling process, give me a call today!

Stella Bonin
Associate Broker

West USA Realty (Arizona)
Burke Real Estate Consultants (California)
480.797.4884 / 619.250.6214
stella.bonin@yahoo.com

Follow me on Twitter: @stellabonin1

Join my Facebook International Real Estate Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/irealestate/

https://www.facebook.com/myrealestateservices/

I am licensed in California and Arizona and we have a great team to serve you with members around the world.

California Bureau of Real Estate Lic. # 01222569
Arizona Department of Real Estate Lic. # BR550696000

“Equal Housing Opportunity”

Simple Home Updates to Make This Year

Besides reconsidering your eating & drinking habits, dusting off your work-out equipment, and other shores around the home the new year is a fresh opportunity to give a new look to your home. 

In the spirit of the new year, these simple tips to refresh your home without any serious rearranging and expenses can help you to look to the new year in a positive way. 

New Bedding. There’s nothing better than fresh, clean sheets for a restorative new year, You can choose different fabrics and colors that adjust to your lifestyle from luxury silk to warm flannel sheets without spending a fortune.

Adding a faux fur throw to your sofa will give a luxurious feeling and will help create a cozy environment.

Low Maintenance Plants. You don’t have to have a green thumb to freshen up your spot with plants. “Your blood pressure will go down just walking into the room,” Mann explains. “Try a low maintenance option like an indestructible peace lily or a few small pots of green leafs indoor plants.”

Renew and paint. Never underestimate what a new bright coat of paint can do for a tired piece of furniture, If you’re looking for something even bolder, use wallpaper on the inside of a bookshelf or to make drawers pop.

Clean Out the Pantry. The recommendation is repackaging food in glass canisters for a pretty, clean look. Check for the expiration date on the canned food.

Make Use of Baskets and Bins. Basket and Bins will help you to hide stuff for a better look of the room. There are so many beautiful, inexpensive woven baskets in all different sizes and colors on the market that will take your decoration to a new level.

Upgrading Your Bath Accessories Details can make a difference. You have many choices between glass, ceramic and other materials that will make your bathroom look totally different.

Eliminate Plastic Cleaning Accessories instead use wooden dish brushes, mops, and metal buckets. 

Pillows Switching out decorative accessories with the seasons is an easy way to update a room. Also, ad some flowers to give a final look and your home will be warm and inviting.

Thinking about buying or selling? Contact me for more tips and information about getting your home ready to sell.

Stella Bonin
Associate Broker

West USA Realty (Arizona)
Burke Real Estate Consultants (California)
480.797.4884 / 619.250.6214
stella.bonin@yahoo.com

Follow me on Twitter: @stellabonin1

Join my Facebook International Real Estate Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/irealestate/

https://www.facebook.com/myrealestateservices/

I am licensed in California and Arizona and we have a great team to serve you with members around the world.

California Bureau of Real Estate Lic. # 01222569
Arizona Department of Real Estate Lic. # BR550696000

“Equal Housing Opportunity”

3 Warning Signs to Ignore at Your Own Risk

1. A Flailing Furnace
Unpleasant sounds and reduced energy efficiency point toward a potentially disastrous furnace problem. In many cases, furnace issues are caused by an old or clogged air filter. Forgetting to change your furnace filter can seriously damage your furnace and threaten the safety of your home. Dirty filters restrict your furnace’s airflow and reduce its energy efficiency. This will result in higher utilities and additional strain on your unit. An overworked furnace can also experience mechanical failures. In extreme cases, furnace defects can cause gas and carbon monoxide leaks.

Update your filter if you notice the signs of a furnace problem. Most furnace professionals recommend changing your filter once a month — especially during seasons that require constant HVAC activity. The cost of a replacement will differ according to the filter’s effectiveness. Bargain- priced models come in convenient multipacks but lack sufficient filtering capabilities. Washable filters — while more expensive than disposable models — are reusable for several years and provide excellent protection against dirt, dander and other airborne irritants.
2. Rotten Roofing
Ignoring roofing problems can threaten your home’s safety and cost tens of thousands of dollars in future repairs. Thankfully, you can avoid roofing-related disasters with a regular inspection. Begin your inspection by walking around your home and looking for signs of damage. Loose or broken roofing materials, curled shingles, sagging roofing, loose flashing and depressions near pipes are common signs of a problem. Attic leaks are also indicators of a roofing issue. These can appear in the form of ceiling spots, damp insulation and wet or stained interior walls. Call a pro immediately if you notice any of these problems.

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You can keep your roof in good shape with an annual roofing inspection. A professional will spot potential problems and lesser-known issues before they become a major headache. Be sure to also book an inspection after severe weather like hail or ice storms.
3. Water Damage Warnings
Uncontrolled leaks can cause catastrophic damage to your home and spawn serious health problems. Recognizing the symptoms of water damage and routinely checking your home for these signs will help you avoid serious problems in the future.

Damp carpeting, loose tiles, peeling linoleum and cupping wood flooring are common signs of wet subflooring. This is usually due to a saturated foundation. Broken water lines, bad ventilation and faulty landscaping can cause subfloor flooding. Call a pro immediately if you notice any of these signs. Clogged gutters are also a common source of foundation-related water damage — including saturation. Sticks, leaves and other debris can fill your gutters and cause water to overflow and gather near the base of your home. Over time, this water will seep into the ground and damage your foundation. You can avoid clogged gutters with a simple seasonal cleaning.

Stains and mold growth are also signs of water damage. These problems can occur anywhere in your home, but they are most common in areas that experience regular moisture. Oftentimes, mold and stains are due to leaking pipes or poor ventilation. Attic leaks can also cause stains and mold growth in your home. Call a professional if you notice any of these problems. A pro will safely assess the problem and provide an appropriate solution. You can prevent some mold and stains by regularly inspecting the pipes around your home. Check under your bathroom and kitchen sinks, as well as in your basement. Be sure to call a pro if you notice any leaks.

Thinking about selling or buying? Let me help make your home buying or sell a success or if you’re ready to begin the buying or selling process, give me a call today!

Stella Bonin
Associate Broker

West USA Realty (Arizona)
Burke Real Estate Consultants (California)
480.797.4884 / 619.250.6214
stella.bonin@yahoo.com

Follow me on Twitter: @stellabonin1

Join my Facebook International Real Estate Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/irealestate/

https://www.facebook.com/myrealestateservices/

I am licensed in California and Arizona and we have a great team to serve you with members around the world.

California Bureau of Real Estate Lic. # 01222569
Arizona Department of Real Estate Lic. # BR550696000

“Equal Housing Opportunity”

Why do I need to do my own inspection?

As a prospective buyer, you obtain and review a home inspection report (HIR) prepared by an independent, neutral home inspector.

The home inspection is a non-invasive examination of the mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems of the dwelling, as well as the components of the structure, such as the roof, ceiling, walls, floors and foundations.

An HIR from a competent and certified inspector assures you the property is free of defects, except those listed on their inspection report. The inspector is paid a fee for their services on delivery of the HIR.

The HIR:

• identifies each system and component of the structure inspected;

• describes any material defects the home inspector finds or suspects in the condition of the structure and its systems and components;

• makes recommendations about the conditions observed; and

• suggests any further evaluation other experts need to undertake to clarify the home inspector’s suspicions.

Material defects are conditions which affect the property:

• market value;

• desirability as a dwelling;

• habitability; and

• safety from injury in its use as a dwelling.

Defects are material when they adversely affect the price a prudent and reasonably well-informed buyer offers to pay for the property when entering into a purchase agreement.

In contrast to the assurances of an HIR, the mandated transfer disclosure statement (TDS) you receive from the seller on which they disclose property information — a disclosure limited to the seller’s and their agent’s knowledge — may not be relied on as fact unless the TDS has an HIR attached to it and the seller and their agent obtained information from it to fill it out.

However, when the seller’s agent does not hand you an HIR before you submit a purchase agreement offer, it is imperative you condition your offer on either the seller or you obtaining an HIR to confirm the property’s condition as disclosed on the TDS.

The cost of the HIR is the premium paid to eliminate the risk of later discovery of undisclosed defects in the improvements.

Your agent will review with you the advantages of selecting an experienced, insured and preferably certified home inspector. When the seller’s agent has not obtained an HIR to hand you along with the TDS, it is your agent you turn to for expertise regarding the home inspection process and selection of a qualified home inspector.

Thinking about selling or buying? Let me help make your home buying or sell a success or if you’re ready to begin the buying or selling process, give me a call today!

Stella Bonin
Associate Broker

West USA Realty (Arizona)
Burke Real Estate Consultants (California)
480.797.4884 / 619.250.6214
stella.bonin@yahoo.com

Follow me on Twitter: @stellabonin1

Join my Facebook International Real Estate Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/irealestate/

https://www.facebook.com/myrealestateservices/

I am licensed in California and Arizona and we have a great team to serve you with members around the world.

California Bureau of Real Estate Lic. # 01222569
Arizona Department of Real Estate Lic. # BR550696000

“Equal Housing Opportunity”

What is a preliminary title report?

A preliminary title report, also known as a prelim, is a revocable offer made by
a title insurer to issue a policy of title insurance on the terms and conditions set out in the report. The buyer, their agent and escrow use the prelim for an initial review of the vesting and encumbrances recorded on the title to a property.

The intent of obtaining a prelim is to ascertain the current vesting and encumbrances as reflected on public record which affects a property’s title.

Encumbrances set out in a prelim include:

• general and special taxes;
• assessments and bonds;
• covenants, conditions and restrictions
(CC&Rs);
• easements;
• rights of way;
• liens; and
• interests of others.

However, a prelim is not a representation of the conditions of title or a policy of title insurance.

Unlike an abstract of title, a prelim cannot be relied on and the title company incurs no liability when the content incorrectly states the conditions of a property’s title.

Thus, a prelim is merely a statement of terms and conditions on which the title company is willing to issue a policy — subject to any changes they may make prior to actually issuing the policy of title insurance.

Both the buyer’s agent and seller’s agent review the prelim immediately on its receipt by escrow, looking for any reported conditions that may interfere with the buyer’s expectations or closing the transaction

Thinking about selling or buying? Let me help make your home buying or sale a success. If you’re ready to begin the buying or selling process, give me a call today!

Stella Bonin
Associate Broker

West USA Realty (Arizona)
Burke Real Estate Consultants (California)
480.797.4884 / 619.250.6214
stella.bonin@yahoo.com

Follow me on Twitter: @stellabonin1

Join my Facebook International Real Estate Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/irealestate/

https://www.facebook.com/myrealestateservices/

I am licensed in California and Arizona and we have a great team to serve you with members around the world.

California Bureau of Real Estate Lic. # 01222569
Arizona Department of Real Estate Lic. # BR550696000

“Equal Housing Opportunity”

What is the MLS?

The multiple listing service (MLS) is a database of property held out for sale, pooled
and published by real estate agents. The MLS is different than online real estate websites like Zillow or Trulia. The information displayed on MLS listings is more extensive and up-to-date than that available on public real estate sites.

Real estate brokers and their agents pay fees to access their local MLS, which is heavily regulated, as designed by local real estate associations. At its most basic level, agents use the MLS to list properties sellers have retained them to sell and find properties for sale suitable for their buyers to acquire.

They also use data generated by closed sales and held by the MLS to help set seller asking prices or help buyers decide on a home’s fair market value (FMV). By comparing a specific property with similar properties sold or for sale in the area, agents are able
to develop an opinion of value.

Small and large brokerages access the same MLS to view and list properties in the area. Thus, a buyer or seller choosing to hire an agent from a small brokerage will receive the same visibility on the MLS as offered by a large brokerage.

For-sale-by-owner (FSBO) properties are not always listed on the MLS. A seller working without the assistance of a real estate agent does not have access to the MLS (unless they themselves are a licensed broker or active real estate agent). Accordingly, a FSBO cannot list their home for sale on the MLS, which limits their home’s visibility to buyers.

When a real estate brokerage offers some MLS access via the internet, they are able to display only a limited amount of MLS data on their brokerage websites for the public to see. However, licensed real estate brokers and their agents with membership in the MLS may access the full range of search options and property data in the MLS database.

 

Contact me today with questions about buying a home or listing your home!
I am never too busy for your referrals.

Stella Bonin
Associate Broker

West USA Realty (Arizona)
Burke Real Estate Consultants (California)
480.797.4884 / 619.250.6214
stella.bonin@yahoo.com

Follow me on Twitter: @stellabonin1

Join my Facebook International Real Estate Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/irealestate/

https://www.facebook.com/myrealestateservices/

I am licensed in California and Arizona and we have a great team to serve you with members around the world.

California Bureau of Real Estate Lic. # 01222569
Arizona Department of Real Estate Lic. # BR550696000

“Equal Housing Opportunity”

To DIY or not to DIY?

Feeling handy? You may be tempted to tackle home repairs or upgrades yourself. This do-it-yourself (DIY) attitude can serve you well — but some projects require a professional touch. How do you know when professional help is needed? Consider these DIY rules:

  1. Keep it safe — Does your project involve electricity, climbing to precarious heights, lead paint or asbestos? Professionals are best for these dangerous jobs because they have the right equipment and experience.
  2. Save money — The number one reason to tackle a DIY project is to save money. Be sure to do the math before you jump into a project, considering any equipment you’ll need to purchase and any time off of work you may need to take.
  3. Make it nice — Before you decide to DIY, be honest with yourself about your abilities. You may enjoy the challenges of installing a new backsplash, but if it doesn’t look professional, all your time, effort and materials will be wasted.

Does your project follow these three rules? Then give DIY a try! Some common DIY projects include installing hardware, painting, minor landscaping and installing shelves.

Thinking about selling? Contact me for more tips and information about getting your home ready to sell.

Stella Bonin
Associate Broker

West USA Realty (Arizona)
Burke Real Estate Consultants (California)
480.797.4884 / 619.250.6214
stella.bonin@yahoo.com

Follow me on Twitter: @stellabonin1

Join my Facebook International Real Estate Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/irealestate/

https://www.facebook.com/myrealestateservices/

I am licensed in California and Arizona and we have a great team to serve you with members around the world.

California Bureau of Real Estate Lic. # 01222569
Arizona Department of Real Estate Lic. # BR550696000

“Equal Housing Opportunity”

Why Is Homeowners Insurance Important?

Costs
Homeowners insurance costs differ according to home size and location.

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Paying for homeowners insurance makes some people cringe. Shelling out money month after month for an intangible product can feel like pouring water into the sand. Insured owners living in prime locations such as the Berkeley Hills pay so that they can rebuild in case disaster strikes. Homeowners insurance could be the best thing you’ll buy–and hope you’ll never have to use.

Lenders and Insurance
Lenders require that homeowners obtain adequate insurance before funding a loan. Because banks and other lending institutions typically put up 80 per cent of a home’s value in cash, they insist that those receiving the money insure the investment. Insurance experts inspect properties for general upkeep before issuing policies and also help determine the level of coverage needed.

Types of Insurance
Basic homeowners policies cover damage to the house caused by fire, vandalism, hurricane, lightning, or other specifically covered events. Homeowners policies also cover loss or damage of personal property due to theft or other covered events. Expensive collections of jewellery or furs might need additional rider policy coverage. Losing possessions can be a shock if you never considered that possibility when opting against homeowners insurance. Policies also cover liability up to certain limits, protecting the insured in case someone injures himself on the property. They also pay for costs if someone sues the homeowner. Some people increase the amount of liability insurance they have with umbrella or extension coverage.

Exclusions
Basic homeowners insurance does not cover damage caused by earthquake and flood. Policies generally deny coverage of damage resulting from chronic and extreme neglect and faulty maintenance. There are limitations on mold-related situations and caveats for specific dog breeds kept on the property.

Alternative Insurance Options
California’s FAIR Plan coverage offers high-risk pool insurance for homeowners living in high-fire areas such as the Southern California foothills. Policies under FAIR, which stands for Fair Access to Insurance Requirements, are expensive and limited in scope. Wrap-around policies allow those with FAIR Plan coverage to supplement the policy with additional privately provided coverage. The state government in California also regulates earthquake policy availability for those who already have homeowners coverage. High deductibles and policy premiums dissuade some owners from purchasing earthquake coverage, betting that their home will never be involved in a significant quake.

Considerations
Some people drop coverage if they are not required to have it. In the event of damage, an uninsured homeowner might lose the building and a place to live. A home is the largest asset most people have, so losing yours could be ruinous. Even if fire or wind damage never occurs, a slip by an uninsured worker on a slippery tile staircase could cost a homeowner thousands for medical care and lost wages.

Let me help make your home buying or sale a success. If you’re ready to begin the buying or selling process, give me a call today!

Stella Bonin
Associate Broker

West USA Realty (Arizona)
Burke Real Estate Consultants (California)
480.797.4884 / 619.250.6214
stella.bonin@yahoo.com

Follow me on Twitter: @stellabonin1

Join my Facebook International Real Estate Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/irealestate/

https://www.facebook.com/myrealestateservices/

I am licensed in California and Arizona and we have a great team to serve you with members around the world.

California Bureau of Real Estate Lic. # 01222569
Arizona Department of Real Estate Lic. # BR550696000

“Equal Housing Opportunity”