February 2014 Newsletter

Preparing to Buy or Sell Your Home

This time of year usually commences the build-up to the traditional home buying and selling season, which typically lasts between late March through August. With this in mind, I thought it would be a good idea to cover some fundamental items for prospective Buyers and Sellers to consider prior to jumping into any half-baked frenzy.

For prospective Buyers: 

(1) The mortgage lending rules have changed very recently. Getting a home mortgage is not akin to buying a TV set at the local discount store. You need to meet with an experienced local lender to determine what you need to do to satisfy any paperwork requirements for the loan, what you can afford and what, if any, “credit blemishes” need to be corrected so you qualify for the best loan. Note, the biggest waste of time and cause of frustration is when a person finds their “dream home” only to LATER learn they can’t afford it or qualify for the necessary loan. 
(2) Flood insurance in the Coastal Empire is rapidly changing, i.e. becoming more difficult to understand and afford, so you want to make sure any home you would consider buying can qualify for flood insurance you can afford. Note, while many homes are in areas that don’t “require” flood insurance, there is a reason we live in the COASTAL Empire - get flood insurance no matter what. If in an area where Flood insurance is not required the annual premium is quite affordable. 
(3) I ALWAYS recommend a home inspection and termite inspection, and if the home is on a septic tank or has a pool, you should get those separately inspected as well.

For prospective Sellers: 

(1) Make sure you can sell the home you plan on selling. What in the world am I talking about you ask? All too often homes are attempted to be sold by an estate or a surviving spouse and the property title records have not been updated accordingly to allow the home to sell in a time-frame the Seller or prospective Buyer expects. If you are selling inherited property, make sure the probate work is in order. If you have gone through a divorce and are now selling the former marital residence, make sure the property is properly titled. Trying to get a former spouse to sign over rights to the property after a difficult divorce can be…shall I say “difficult.”
(2) If the home is a re-sale, think about getting a home inspection performed prior to listing on the open market so you can take care of any issues that any reasonable Buyer will discover in her inspection and expect to be resolved prior to closing. I suggest providing a copy of the Seller’s inspection report and the receipts showing where items have been resolved. Talk about making a home stand out above the crowd and creating a sense of trust. 
(3) Spend time with your real estate agent reviewing comparable sales in your area to properly price your home. With all due respect, what you think your house is worth does not always track the market, and you’re selling in the market. Also, most Buyers today research homes for sale by way of the internet even before hiring a real estate agent. Don’t get missed in these internet searches simply because your house is overpriced by $10,000.00 and thus your house is not captured by the Buyer search parameters.

Traditionally, the Coastal Empire has been a “Spring/Summer Season” for selling and buying homes. Take some time during these chilly weeks to get “your house” in order so you are properly prepared to buy or sell. As always, the attorneys and staff at McManamy Jackson, PC are available to help you through the process.

(912) 691-0943 phone 
(912) 691-0947 fax
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