Find the answers to your most asked questions about real estate. Click on the big + button to view the answer.
An Active Property
The property is actively for sale and on the market. The sellers may have received offers but have not accepted any yet.
When an offer is accepted the property will become Pending the completed sale.
If the contract falls through, typically the property will go Active again.
Closing costs are the fees that the buyer and seller will owe associated with the home-buying process, such as the real estate brokerage commission and title insurance.
Most are paid by the buyer, but the seller pays for some.
The fees will vary with each transaction. Your lender or title rep will let you know what the fees are and how much you will need at the close of escrow.
The fees required to complete the real estate transaction include points, taxes, title insurance, financing costs, and items that must be prepaid or paid through escrow.
What are Comparable Sales? 🤔
Known in real estate as “comps,” comparable sales are the sales prices of similar homes and are based on the following:
☑️ Lot size
☑️ Age & Construction
☑️ Square footage
☑️ Close proximity
☑️ Time frame of the sale
When it comes to buying or selling, both place high importance on comps to determine a home’s value.
Contact our team for a ✨ free consultation ✨ to learn more about what homes are selling for in your area.
Comparative market analysis or competitive market analysis, aka CMA, compares the sales price of similar properties in the area to help determine the price of a property.
A CMA estimates a home’s price based on recently sold, similar properties in the immediate area. Real estate agents and brokers create CMA reports to help sellers set listing prices for their homes and help buyers make competitive offers.
If you need more details about CMAs, read “What Is Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) in Real Estate?“.
What is a Contingency?
A provision of the contract that keeps the agreement from being fully legally binding until a certain condition(s) is met.
For example, the purchase of a home can be contingent upon the buyer selling their home first.
Common contingencies include loan approval, satisfactory inspections, and appraisal.
- An appraisal contingency gives the buyer the right to back out if a professional property appraisal comes in lower than a specified minimum, usually the asking price of the property.
- A financing contingency loan approval gives the buyer time to obtain a mortgage and the right to cancel if financing is denied.
- An inspection contingency gives the buyer the right to have the home inspected by a set date.
A counteroffer is a response to a buyer’s original offer on a house to make changes that better fit a seller’s goals.
A counteroffer is one step closer to an accepted offer!
A counteroffer shows that the seller is willing to work with the buyer, but on slightly different terms (usually a change in the price or contingencies).
Here’s how your real estate agent can help you navigate a counteroffer:
☑️ Buyers, we negotiate on your behalf and provide guidance on how to get your offer accepted.
☑️ Sellers, we help you stay clear of red flags and make sure you accept the right offer.
Negotiation is a BIG part of what we do as real estate pros! Connect with our team to learn more about how we provide 5-star representation for our clients.
Days on market (DOM) means the number of days a home has been listed on the market.
The number of days the property has been on the market may reflect the desirability and/or pricing of the home.
If the home has been on the market too long, the property may be stale.
What is a Disclosure Statement? 🤔
A legally binding document in which the seller reveals any potential flaws and issues the buyer needs to know about the property.
Also known as a “Seller’s Disclosure,” this is a legal document that outlines any known flaws that a home seller is aware of that could negatively impact the home’s value 🏡
💡 TIP: Buyers should scrutinize this document closely with their real estate agent to fully understand the condition of a home.
Our best advice? When it comes to buying a home, make sure you get an inspection to confirm what has been disclosed is accurate and discuss any potential deal breakers with your agent.
The three rules of this document are disclose, disclose, disclose.
What is Earnest Money? 🤔
A deposit made to a seller that represents a buyer’s good faith to buy a home. It’s typically around 1% – 5% of the sale price.
Earnest money is a deposit from the buyer to the seller, made in good faith to show dedication to purchasing the property 🏡
IMPORTANT FACTS 👇
💰 The amount varies by market
💰 Goes towards the purchase of your home
💰 Protects the seller if a buyer backs out
💰 A buyer may get this money back – due to failed inspections or contingencies
💡 TIP: In a seller’s market, you may consider making your earnest money non-refundable.
Our best advice? When it comes to buying in a low inventory, competitive market, it’s essential to partner with a Buyer’s Agent who understands how to make your offer stand out to sellers 🥊
What is a Listimate™?
A Listimate™ is a home value estimate based on our proprietary system of determining a home’s value, or the dollar value of a home if listed for sale at the time of the estimate.
We created this system based on over 28 years of experience in retail residential real estate resale properties.
We consider Listimates™ as the true current market value of a specific property. If you decide to list your home with Guthrie Group Homes, your Listimate™ will be the price we recommend you use as the asking price for your home.
How is a Listimate™ different from Zillow’s Zestimate?
We suggest you read our article “Comparative Market Analysis vs. Zestimate“.
How Accurate Is It?
Our track record speaks for itself. 99% of our listings sell at or above the asking price, and they sell fast!
What is a Listing?
In real estate, the word “listing” is typically used to refer to the for-sale home or property itself, although it technically means the agreement between the broker and the owner of the home to market and sell the property.
This is not the same as listing the property on the MLS (Multiple Listing Service).
What is the MLS?
MLS stands for Multiple Listing Service. They collect, compile and distribute all information about homes listed for sale.
The MLS is the organization real estate brokers use to search for and list properties for their clients.
Membership isn’t open to the general public, although selected MLS data may be sold to real estate listing websites, like Realtor.com or our own MLS listing search where the public can search the MLS at no charge.
See also the term “listing“.
What does Pending mean?
With a property that is pending, the property owner has accepted an offer from a buyer and they are under contract with that buyer.
Their agreement may be subject to a variety of contingencies: inspections, appraisal, financing, and more.
The home is not sold just yet. Typically if the sale does not go through, the house will return to “Active” status.
What are Property Taxes?
A levy or tax imposed by a municipality on real estate and personal property. The amount of tax varies depending on the property value.
Property taxes are an annual tax that local municipalities collect each year, based on the assessed value of your property (not on the appraised value of your home). These funds help pay for services that benefit the community, such as schools, roads, maintenance, etc.
First-time homeowners often forget to factor property taxes into the overall cost of their new home, which can come as a nasty shock come tax season. So let this be a reminder to all homeowners to calculate property taxes into their annual budget!
💰 BONUS TIP: If you own a rental property, your property taxes may be tax-deductible 💰
Define Real Estate Professional.
An individual who provides services in buying and selling homes.
Real estate professionals are there to help you through the confusing paperwork, find your dream home, negotiate any of the details that come up, and so you know exactly what’s going on in the housing market.
There are several types of real estate professionals including Realtors®, real estate agents, and real estate consultants.
What is a short sale?
The sale of a home sold for less than what’s owed on the mortgage to prevent foreclosure.
A “short sale” is a home sold at a discounted price. But why would someone want to sell their home for less than it’s worth? 🤔
But a short sale can leave less of a negative impact, and some sellers can qualify for other home loans once the short sale closes.
If you’d like to learn more about short sales in our area (how they work, if they’re in your best interest, or how to take advantage of them if you’re a buyer), send us a message 📲
What does Temporarily off the market (TOM) mean?
The owner has decided to take the listing off the market for an undetermined amount of time. Typically, this is because work is being done, or the home is unavailable for showings at the time.
Usually, the home will be back on the market in the near future. If not, the listing status will go to Cancelled.