Closing Costs Explained

home soldMost anyone who has ever been involved in buying a house, or even watched a few real estate shows on HGTV, is familiar with closing costs. But what exactly are closing costs? Here’s a quick rundown of these additional fees.

Closing costs are additional fees associated with processing the mortgage and are not paid to the mortgage company. Generally speaking, closing costs are assumed by the buyer of the property (VA mortgages are one exception to this rule) and are paid at the time of closing of escrow. The bulk of closing costs is comprised of the lender’s fees. These fees include the appraisal fee, which is an independent assessment of the value of the property being purchased, as well as the credit report and any property taxes. The lender’s fees also include mortgage and homeowner’s insurance, as well as any flood certification and pre-paid interest charges. These fees may also include origination and discount points depending on your lender, as well as loan application and loan processing fees.

Title fees are also part of closing costs. These fees include the title service fee, which covers the handling of title documents and funds, as well as half of the settlement and escrow fees, which cover the fees for the title search and examination.  Finally, title fees also include any title insurance. Recording fees are another part of closing costs and include recording fees, transfer taxes, and an affidavit of property value. HOA transfer fees and HOA dues are typically also included within closing costs.

While this is a brief overview of closing costs and is by no means a thorough list, we hope this sheds some light on these necessary real estate transaction fees.  Every transaction is different, and while we am unable to give legal, tax or accounting advice, we look forward to helping you navigate your own process with ease and clarity. Feel free to call us with any additional questions! Chris 480-754-9077 & Cheryl 480-754-9477

How We Market Your Home

sold signFrom providing and reviewing current market information to help you make a pricing decision to offering helpful input on preparing the home to go on the market, we will walk you through the process of getting your home listed and sold. We will answer any questions about the process and go over the paperwork, including the purchase contract so that you are prepared when you receive an offer.

Once listed, your home will be viewed on over 500 websites around the world.  We will reach out to the 1,900+ agents around the Valley to let them know about your listing and follow-up with all agents that show the home.

We will assist in offer negotiations and once an offer is accepted we will stay on top of the timeline and provide you with a calendar of critical dates. We will remind you of the process going forward.

Whether buying or selling, we make it a point to be available to our clients. Many agents are too busy to answer their phones. Our clients know that if they get our voice mail, we are on the phone or in a meeting but that they will receive a phone call back as soon as we are available and always the same day. We understand that the process can be stressful because there is a lot of chance involved. We strive to be helpful and available to you throughout this process.

We believe in the value of homeownership. For many people, it is part of their dream to provide stability and comfort for their families or a second home away from home. And as time goes on, a comfortable place to retire.

We are fortunate to live in such a wonderful place that appeals to people from around the world. Let us help you realize your real estate goals.Give us a call today to learn more! Chris 480-754-9077 & Cheryl 480-754-9477

Homebuying During Covid-19

With mortgage rates at all-time lows and an uncertain future due to the current Covid-19 pandemic, is now a good time to buy a home? It may feel contradictory to purchase a home at this time, however, for people who feel confident about their job security and finances, this might be the perfect time to buy.

Why Making the Move Now May Be Right for You

House hunting during the coronavirus can have its benefits. There may be less competition for the houses in the areas where you might be planning to move, and sellers may be more motivated to sell or more flexible on price. Once the crisis passes, there may be more house hunters back on the market and prices may escalate due to a more competitive market that benefits sellers rather than buyers, so taking a few steps forward now will put you ahead of the game.

Get Preapproved for a Mortgage

When you do find the home of your dreams, being preapproved for a mortgage proves to the seller you are serious. It’s possible to get preapproved online through some banks. Mortgage preapproval is a letter from a lender that indicates how much you are qualified to borrow from the lender, at a specific interest rate.

Use This Time to Research the Market

Despite the decrease in the number of newly-listed homes, there are still excellent options in property listings. This is a time to research the market and find your preferred property in a community you like. Take this time to expand your search to other surrounding neighborhoods that might have homes with excellent value for money, amenities, and facilities.

As you spend more time at home, it’s an opportunity to assess your current home and determine the level of functionality and comfort it offers you. That helps in knowing your priorities when searching and, consequently buying a home.

Virtual Home Viewing

Many real estate agents post virtual tours of properties for sale on their websites. When you take a virtual tour or attend a virtual open house, you can get a realistic view of the property. Then, with a click of the mouse, you can see all the details that are important to you. In addition, by touring homes virtually, you can see many more than would be possible in a single day with your real estate agent.

Prepare Your Home For Sale

While entertainment, sports, and other social events are canceled, take advantage of this while to prep your current home for the market. Preparation may include anything from mowing the lawn, exterior repairs, tidying the gutters, and decluttering the interior.

Start with a DIY approach to reduce expenses before calling the professionals. Do an online home improvement search to note the additional décor that can enhance the visual appeal of the home.

Do you have questions if now is the right time for you to buy? Call us today, we’d love to help answer all your questions and find your new home when the time is right for you! Chris 480-754-9077 & Cheryl 480-754-9477

Summer Home Maintenance

Summer is in full swing and now is good time to inspect your house to see how your it is doing in the summer heat. Here’s a quick list of 7 summer home maintenance tips and projects you can do to spruce up your home and keep everything running smoothly throughout the year:

Attic Inspections

Attics can be claustrophobia-inducing, but it’s a good idea to brave those tight confines at least once a year. You want to check your attic for any indication of pests or insects, water leakage, mold or mildew.

Rain Gutters

It’s easy for desert dwellers to forget about checking the rain gutters. Gutters can become clogged with dirt and grime, especially after a monsoon season so it’s a good idea to flush out your gutters with the hose at least once a year.

Washing Machine Maintenance

Your washing machine is one of those appliances that needs some light maintenance every now and then. When your washer is not in use, inspect the seal between the door opening and the drum for areas of soil buildup or any stains. If you find any, you can clean it with a mixture of ¾ cup of chlorine bleach and a gallon of warm water. Wipe the area with the bleach-water solution and then let it sit for about 5 minutes. Then wipe dry with a clean cloth, and let it air dry. This will remove any odors and keep your clothes from getting stained by dirt deposits inside the seal.

Clean the Garbage Disposal and Dishwasher

This home maintenance tip isn’t necessarily just a summer chore, but it’s important reminder to clean out your garbage disposal and dishwasher every once in a while. You can easily clean out your garbage disposal by flushing it with hot water and some dish soap. To clean your dishwasher, you should add 2 cups of vinegar to the bottom of the machine and run the machine on low wash.

Wipe Down & Clean Baseboards

Baseboards are often overlooked when it comes to weekly cleaning, but it’s something you will want to do at least once a year to keep dust and dirt from building up. A damp cloth and a little extra time is all you need to clean up the trim around your home.

Wash Exterior Windows

Summer is a good time of year to wash your windows from the outside. Simply fill a bucket with hot soapy water and get scrubbing. If you wash your windows more than once a year, you may be able to get away with just using Windex, but a bucket of soapy water and a sponge will usually deliver the best results.

Clean or Replace Window Screens

Washing your exterior windows won’t make much of a difference if you don’t also wash your window screens. Take off all your window screens to your house and gently scrub them with hot soapy water. If your window screens are too dirty to be cleaned, you may just want to replace them.

Easy Offers to Sell Your Home

online shoppingAre you ready for instant offers to sell your home? Currently, there are many companies ready to make very competitive offers on your home. They buy it, turn it around, and sell 30-90 days to the public for a tiny profit. In return, you get convenience and a speedy sale!

-Multiple competitive offer
-No showings or open houses
-No negotiating with buyers
-Skip the cost and time getting your home market ready
-Freedom to move on your timeline
-No strangers and REALTORS® walking through your home
-Close quickly and get equity from your home in as little as 7 days
-No risk of two mortgage payments
-You pick your closing date

We know companies who will buy your home directly at a competitive price. You will get a real listing valuation and solid offers within 24 hours of me viewing your home. We will then help you break down and compare your options to see which works best for you and negotiate all offers for you so you get the best price and terms.

Contact us to schedule an appointment to price your home, get photos taken, and submit it to the companies who will buy it from you! Chris 480-754-9077 & Cheryl 480-754-9477

Showing Homes During the Coronavirus

hand sanitizerThe Coronavirus is having a mixed impact on the housing market. It may be decreasing buyer traffic, yet it’s also not deterring some home buyers and sellers from taking advantage of the lowest mortgage rates in history.

To help keep our buyers and sellers healthy during this unprecedented pandemic, we have adjusted and added some procedures when showing homes:

-All of our open houses have been suspended. For now we will only doing private showings of homes to one person (or couple).
-While we am only doing private showings, we will ask buyers to meet us at each home instead of driving with them.
-We will do our best to arrive before each showing to open doors and windows to minimize door knob touching and allow fresh air inside. we will also sanitize door knobs, counters and other high traffic touch areas before and after each showing.
-Additionally, we will have hand sanitizer and gloves, or ask clients to place their hands in their pockets as they tour the home.
-We will also be using video chats for virtual tours and walkthroughs so our clients can social distance themselves by while still allowing them to see new homes.

Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us with any questions you have about how the Coronavirus/Covid-19 may be affecting the Arizona real estate market. Chris 480-754-9077 & Cheryl 480-754-9477

What Not to do When Selling Your Home

open houseWe all hear about the steps we should take when selling your home; however have you thought about things you should NOT do when trying to sell your home? There are so many no-no’s that seem simple enough, yet are often overlooked.

When your home is being shown to prospective buyers, don’t be there. As much as you love your home and have taken pride in decorating it to your tastes the potential buyers may be uncomfortable discussing what they like or don’t like about the home. You may also say too much without meaning to, which could put off a potential buyer.

Don’t leave clutter around your home. You want the rooms and closets to seem large. If too much clutter is around then it will seem there isn’t room for the new owner’s items. They may not be able to get past the clutter. You also don’t want to have lots of personal photos and things around. It will distract the buyer.

Don’t have your pets home during showing. Some buyers may be allergic or afraid of animals. Granted some folks love dogs and cats, but you just can’t be too sure. If you cannot remove your pets from the home for a showing, perhaps putting them in a crate or a specific room in the home. Also, it is a good idea to make sure you have cleaned up after you pet. Make sure the cat litter is changed and you have done poop-patrol in the yard!

It’s important to make your home bright and appealing. Don’t turn off lights and leave blinds closed. Turning on the lights and opening blinds or curtains to let in natural light is much more appealing than a dark room.

Probably the most important thing when selling your home is to not neglect the outside of your house. Curb-appeal is of high importance when selling, it is the first impression that potential buyers will have when they arrive. If they see a weeds sprouting up everywhere they will wonder what kind of condition is the inside like. Maintaining your landscaping is important.

Use your best judgment; think about what may turn you off when looking at homes. Chances are it’s some of the above mentioned items. Call us for more tips of what to do and not to do when selling. Chris 480-754-9077 & Cheryl 480-754-9477

Selling Your Home During the Holidays

christmas decorationsDon’t let selling your home during the Holiday season dampen your Holiday Spirit. Create a buyer-friendly home with our seasonal home staging tips:

-Go easy on the outdoor lights and leave the inflatable snowman in the storage room. Instead, use simple string lights to play up your home’s architecture or draw attention to your landscaping.
-Loud and bright decorations can be off-putting to some buyers. To help your home sell, keep your holiday decorations conservative. A few subtle touches like pinecone centerpieces and an evergreen wreath can create a warm and festive feeling in your home.
-Make sure your holiday decorations match your current decor. If your family room has a clean blue and white color scheme, then skip the clashing red garland. If you have an earthy color scheme, then accent with rich tones like cranberries, forest greens and gold.
-Too much can distract buyers, but the right amount of accessories can draw attention to your home’s best features. Try hanging a few tasteful ornaments from your mantel to highlight an elegant fireplace.
-If your living space is small, then save space with a skinny Christmas tree. Although it can be fun to dedicate large areas to the holidays, make sure to leave enough room for buyers to move around and appreciate your home for its actual size.

When you’re ready to sell your home or do some holiday shopping for a new home, give us a call! Chris 480-754-9077 & Cheryl 480-754-9477

Getting Ready to Show Your Home

kitchenYour home has been prepped and is ready for listing in the MLS. Now what? There are some steps that will make it easy to get ready for all of those showings that will be coming your way.

First, maximize all of the light in your home by turning on all of the lights in your home and open all of the curtains and blinds on your windows. Buyers love to see bright, well-lit homes, and these quick steps will show off your beautiful home.

Second, highlight your curb appeal in your back and front yard. Do a quick sweep of your front entryway, and turn on any water features you may have to show off your pool and/or spa. This will help the buyer visualize how they can enjoy these spaces.

Third, do a clean sweep throughout your home to remove clutter from floors and countertops. Buyers want to be able to envision themselves in the spaces in your home, so removing distractions of your personal items is the best way to facilitate this. Keep a basket handy before showings to corral any clutter quickly and to stash in a closet.

Lastly, do a quick wipe of your bathroom counters, toilets and mirrors to make these areas sparkle. Again, the goal is to have buyers imagine living in your home, so keeping these personal areas sparkling clean will go a long way toward this goal.

Want more tips to maximize showings? Contact us to find how much your home is worth and for more tips to help sell your house fast for top dollar! Chris 480-754-9077 & Cheryl 480-754-9477

Get An Offer On Your Home

Would you like an offer on your home and skip the headaches and hassles of selling traditionally.

Companies are ready to make a very competitive offer on your home. They buy it, turn it around, and sell 30-90 days to the public for a tiny profit.

You get convenience and speed in return.

This means:

  • Close quickly, get equity from your home in as little as 7 days
  • Multiple competitive offers – fast
  • You pick your closing date
  • No showings or open houses
  • No negotiating with buyers
  • Skip the cost, time and (in some cases) embarrassment of getting your home market ready
  • Freedom to move on your timeline
  • No strangers and REALTORS® walking through your home
  • No risk of two mortgage payments

We know companies who will buy your home directly at a fair price. We will negotiate all offers for you so you get the best price and terms. Your offer is competitive. These are not “sharks” who buy your home for 50% of it’s value. You get solid offers and a real listing valuation within 24 hours of us viewing your home. We’ll help you break down your options in a side by side comparison and see which works best for your unique situation.

Contact us and we’ll be in touch to price your home, get photos taken, and submit it to the companies who will buy it from you hassle-free!