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Why should I be pre-approved with a lender before I look at homes?

Before you start looking for a home, knowing what loans are available to you and their rates and terms lets you focus your search on getting the best home for your money. A pre-approval letter is also part of the buyer’s offer on a home. Having this letter in advance ensures that the seller will take the buyer’s offer seriously, an important factor anytime, but especially if there are multiple offers.

What is title insurance?

So what exactly is ‘title insurance’? Well, when a property is financed, bought or sold, a record of that transaction is generally filed in public archives. Likewise, records of other events that may affect the ownership of a property, like liens or levies, are also archived. When you buy title insurance for your property, a title company searches these records to find – and remedy, if possible – several types of ownership issues. First, the title company searches public records to determine the property’s ownership status. After this search, the underwriter will determine the insurability of the title. Even the most skilled title professionals may not find all problems associated with a property, though. Some risks, such as title issues due to filing errors, forgeries, or undisclosed heirs, are difficult to identify. So after the title company finishes its searching, it also provides a title insurance policy that will help protect you from a variety of issues that might be uncovered later. If you take out a mortgage loan when you buy your property, your lender will require a loan policy of title insurance. This protects the lender’s interest in your property until your loan is paid off or refinanced. On the other hand, an owner’s policy of title insurance insures your ownership rights to the property. Even though you’ll pay for this policy only once, your coverage will last as long as you own your home. A real estate purchase may be the largest financial investment you ever make. So, when you buy an owner’s policy of title insurance, just think of it as buying some peace of mind!

Why do I need a home inspection?

Before you close on a home, you should hire a home inspector to evaluate its condition. That way, you avoid surprises after settlement, and you can see the condition of the home firsthand. You can also order additional tests for radon, wood destroying insects or lead paint.

Why do I need a home inspection?

Professional home inspectors evaluate the condition of a home for a prospective buyer. The buyer typically pays for the inspection, and uses the findings to address any issues with the home before settlement

At the end of the inspection, the inspector summarizes his or her findings, answers your questions, and then gives you (the buyer) a signed report of the findings. This report is the buyer’s property only—no other party is entitled to see it unless you allow them to.

What are some inexpensive tips I can use to sell my house?

  • Don’t underestimate the value of curb appeal! A neatly mowed lawn, fresh flowers and a new front door will impress buyers before they get out of their cars. Indoors, clear clutter from bedrooms and closets to make your home seem more open. Your REALTOR can help make your individual home shine.
  • Painting—inside or out  – A fresh coat of paint can cover up blemishes as well as normal wear and tear.  Try some neutral colors like white, beige, or pewter.
  • Rearranging furniture – Give your home a look of having more space by arranging furniture in a way that doesn’t make the rooms look cluttered
  • Cleaning up clutter – Making sure things are neat and tidy will help prospects picture their own furniture and items in your home.  Remember, if your home looks too cluttered, prospects may think you don’t have enough storage space for them!
  • Updating appliances – Even replacing your old microwave can add untold value to prospects.
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