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  1. What is real estate fee?
  2. What is the best way to set a price on my home?
  3. How much does a swimming pool add to home value?
  4. How long will it take to sell my home?
  5. Title company is asking me to sign the deed BEFORE closing?
  6. We are concerned about signing a warranty deed to our home?
  7. What do all these terms in the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) mean?
  8. Sale pending, AWC, TOM, DOM, etc?

What is real estate fee?

Sorry, but I need more specifics to give you a good answer. What fees are you referring to?
There are a lot of fees involved with the purchase or sale of real estate. Many are dependent on whether you are the buyer of the seller. If you can let me know what fee you are talking about (title fees, lender fees, real estate agent commissions, etc) and whether you are the buyer or seller I may be able to help more.

What is the best way to set a price on my home?

There are two main ways to establish a home listing price:
1) Get a full blown appraisal: A certified home appraiser will give you an estimated market price for about $350.
2) Get a "CMA" (Comparative Market Analysis): A CMA can be provided by a real estate agent. The agent will look at recent sale "comparables" and determine the market price for your home.

A comparable is a house similar in size, age and condition that is physically located near your home and has sold recently. Comparable sales are the best indicator for what your house could sell for. (And actually, this is pretty much exactly what a certified appraiser will also do.) The advantage of a CMA over an appraisal is cost--A CMA is free.
Ultimately the market decides what your home is worth. The true definition of "market price" is what an able and ready buyer is willing to pay.

How much does a swimming pool add to home value?

Having a swimming pool built is not cheap. If you spend $30,000 on a pool, it will not add $30,000 to the value of your home.. Don't add a pool to your home if you expect to recoup the cost upon sale. It just doesn't work that way. Add a pool to your home because you want a pool. A pool is an outstanding investment in terms of recreation, fun, enjoyment, enhancing the appearance of your back yard and it provides great exercise. (In Phoenix, having a pool may mean being able to survive the summers comfortably!) There are dozens of great reasons to have a pool, but adding value to your home isn't one of them.
(I should note that what I say above pertains to the Phoenix area. The reason it's this way here is because so many homes have pools. In some parts of the country, a pool is rare and does add a premium to a home.)
What a pool can do is help you sell the home when the time comes. MANY people home shopping in Phoenix want a pool. We've had clients look at homes they loved but didn't buy because there wasn't a pool. Having an existing pool appeals to many home buyers. But note that there are some who don't want a pool and won't look at your house because it has one.

How long will it take to sell my home?

This question is difficult (actually, impossible) to answer. A good real estate agent can tell you the Average Days On Market (DOM) for your area, but it's just that--an average. Some homes will sell faster than the average DOM, some will take longer.
Houses sell based on three primary factors:
* Condition
* Location
* Price
The interaction of these factors, combined with the overall market conditions in your area is what determines how quickly your home will sell. A properly priced home, in good condition in a desirable location will always sell--in any market. An overpriced home, regardless of condition or location may never sell. A home in poor condition or a poor location has to be priced accordingly in order to sell.
Unfortunately, it's impossible to say for certain how long it will take to sell your home. A good agent can give you an estimate, but it's just that. There are simply too many factors to accurately predict how quickly a home will sell.

Title company is asking me to sign the deed BEFORE closing?

Signature of Warranty Deed before Closing Not Required

Question: We are scheduled to close on the sale of our home in three weeks. The escrow company handling the transaction has sent us paperwork for signing, including a warranty deed to the buyers.

We are concerned about signing a warranty deed to our home three weeks prior to closing, but the escrow company says that this warranty deed will not be recorded until closing and, if the sale does not close, this warranty deed will be destroyed. Should we sign this warranty deed now?

Answer: In order to timely close a transaction, much of the paperwork for both the seller and the buyer is typically signed at the escrow company before the actual day of closing.

If you have concerns about signing this warranty deed now, however, you should contact the escrow company and, if you tell the escrow company that you approve of the form of this warranty deed, the escrow company should permit you to sign this warranty deed at the time of closing. Note:

In many states, especially back East, the tradition has been for the seller and the buyer to sit around a table at the same time for “closing” of the transaction. Even in those states, however, the practice now is for the seller and the buyer to sign the documents before the actual date of closing.

This material has been prepared by Combs Law Group, P.C. for informational purposes only and is not to be considered legal advice. Transmission of the information is not intended to create, and receipt does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.

The information provided is general and is not updated or revised for accuracy as statutory or case law changes following the date of first publication. Internet subscribers and online readers should not act upon this information without seeking professional counsel. REPRINTED WITH PERMISSION.

Open Houses - Good or Bad?

Open Houses - you see the signs everywhere, typically on the weekends. In an "Open House" the selling agent will be at a home and answer questions and show the home to anyone who happens to stop by. Sometimes dozens of people will drop by an open house, sometimes no one shows up.

Does holding an open house help sell a home? In all honesty, not very often. It's extremely rare for someone attending an open house to actually purchase that home. Having an open house does increase the visibility of the listed home, but that visibility is typically limited to neighbors (who already know your home is for sale, trust me) and people who happen to be driving by.

Realtors like to hold open houses because they are a great way to find potential buyer clients. Many times potential buyers will attend an open house without a Realtor, and this gives the Realtor holding the open house to become that buyer's agent.

Many attendees at open houses are what we call "looky-loos"--neighbors that have always wondered what the inside of your home looks like, and even "professional" open house go'ers who just like to attend open homes to get decorating ideas and see different things.
Opening your home to anyone that walks in the door is something that should be considered carefully. Personal items have been taken from open houses, and we always recommend removing small valuables and prescription medications. Theft is very rare, but it can happen.

What do all these terms in the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) mean? Sale pending, AWC, TOM, DOM, etc?

This is the terminology currently used in the Phoenix area Multiple Listing Service (ARMLS). They may be different than what is used outside of the Phoenix area, however it is likely that any large MLS will have very similar terminology.

"Active": If a listing is active, then it is available for sale and there has not been an offer accepted. An offer may have been submitted, but it hasn't been accepted by the seller yet.

"Pending": This means an offer has been submitted and accepted, and there are no contingencies in the contract. Basically this means the property has been sold and is waiting for closing (although deals fall apart all the time between contract acceptance and close.) See AWC below for an explanation of contingencies.

"AWC": Stands for Active With Contingencies. This means an offer was submitted and accepted, but there are contingencies that must be settled before the deal can close. There are numerous possible contingencies, but by far the most common one is that the deal is contingent on the buyer's selling an existing property. The buyer needing to secure financing is also a common contingency.

If a listing is in AWC status, additional offers can be submitted, but will be in "second position" to the original offer (ie: a backup offer). If the contingency can not be met, then the contingent contract would be cancelled and the backup offer moves into first (primary) position. Once the contingency is met, the listing should be moved to a Pending state, but most agents never seem to do that.

"TOM": Contrary to what a lot of people believe, TOM does not stand for Taken Off Market. It means Temporarily Off Market. This isn't a widely used category. A property may go TOM if a seller is going to be out of town for an extended period, or if the seller decides to do some repairs to the property and doesn't want it shown while repairs are being done.

If you are an agent and you start calling owners who property is in TOM status to try and "relist" their home, then you are violating all kinds of listing and ethical rules and regulations. (And trust me, this happens all the time.) A property in TOM status is still under a signed listing agreement with the listing agent, hence any solicitation of a TOM property is a serious violation and you can lose your license if you pursue it!

"Sold": This indicates the property has been sold to a buyer. Sold in this case means the transaction has closed -- title/deed have been transferred to a new own

The information provided is general and is not updated or revised for accuracy as statutory or case law changes following the date of first publication. Internet subscribers and online readers should not act upon this information without seeking professional counsel. REPRINTED WITH PERMISSION.

 
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