Jeff Smith - KELLER WILLIAMS REALTY


Posted by Jeff Smith on 4/2/2018

Once you have signed the purchase and sales agreement, the property will be appraised by a licensed appraiser. The home appraisal is an estimate of what the property is valued at. The appraisal takes into account a number of factors such as the location of the home, the condition of the house, and recent sales of like homes in the area. The value that is determined by the appraiser is the maximum amount that can be loaned out by a mortgage company.   


If youíre buying a $300,000 home, but the appraisal comes back at $297,000, youíll need to pay the remaining $3,000 out of pocket in addition to the down payment and the closing costs that are paid up front at the time of purchase.


If the appraisal comes in too low, you might not have the necessary funds in your bank account to actually make the purchase of the home. Since you have already signed the purchase and sales agreement, you have signed a legally binding contract that states that you will in fact buy the home from the seller. If you break the agreement, youíll lose your deposit, which could be a significant sum of money.  



The Appraisal Contingency


Most purchase agreements contain something called an appraisal contingency. This is an out for the buyer in the case of a low appraisal. If the appraisal is less than the agreed upon price, thereís a way for you as a buyer to get out of the contract without it taking a hit on your finances. You need this contingency to protect you.  


Is Waiving The Appraisal Contingency Is A Good Idea? 


You could be in a situation where you might consider waiving the appraisal contingency. This would be a case where you agree to pay the entire amount of the contact price, even in the event of a low appraisal. This gives the seller a clear message that you want the home no matter what. The only way that you should even really consider doing this is if there is a lot of competition for the home that you want to purchase. If an appraisal comes back much lower than expected, youíll be expected to make up the difference in price. In most cases, itís a good idea to keep the appraisal contingency in the agreement to protect yourself as a buyer.


How To Know For Sure


This is why itís so important to hire a real estate agent. In many states, agents are able to give you advice on the best course of action for buying a home. You can also hire your own attorney to help you through the legal portions of the home buying process. In other states, attorneys are required for the sale of a home. These lawyers will be able to advise you as a buyer whatís in your best interest. Your attorney is there to protect you!





Posted by Jeff Smith on 4/10/2017

Whether you plan on selling your home in the next few months or the next few years, itís always a good idea to start thinking about the things that can increase or decrease the value of your home.

There are some factors that are mostly out of your control. Things like climate and the state of the housing market arenít something you can do much about. However, there are several ways you can gain an edge once you put your house on the market.

In todayís article, weíre going to talk about some of the main things that contribute to the value of a property, and a few lesser known ideas to help increase your home value.


The most important appraisal factors


Before you start thinking about adding bonus features to your home you should make sure the basics are covered. To maximize appraisal value, your home should be:

  • Structurally sound. The foundation, roof, plumbing, and other vital items need to be in top shape.

  • Efficient. Houses that havenít been updated with energy efficient windows, insulation, and HVAC systems are going to drag down the value of the home. Prospective buyers want to know they wonít be spending extra each month of the utilities.

  • Well-maintained. Inside and out, having a clean appearance shows potential buyers that youíve taken care of the home. This includes driveways, lawns, and fences on the outside, and paint and carpets on the inside.

  • Size, location, and market. You wonít be able to influence these, and many times putting additions on a home can actually lower its estimated value, so itís best to focus on other areas where you can make a difference.


How to increase your home value


Depending on how much time you have left before you want to sell, there are a number of things you can do to improve your home. Some home improvement projects are costly and time-consuming, where others can be simple and cost-effective. Here are some ideas for increasing the value of your home.


  • Revitalize the neighborhood. If youíre going to be living in your home for years to come, it can be worthwhile to integrate yourself into the community. Starting community gardens or converting lots into fields and playgrounds are long-term projects that will add culture and amenities to your neighborhood. Not only is this good for the town, but it could also increase the value of your home.

  • Small upgrades pay off. If you plan on moving within the coming months, you still have time to increase the value of your home. By replacing old faucets, handles, and doorknobs you can make older items appear new again. Similarly, minor electric upgrade, like replacing old light switches or outlets, combined with a fresh coat of paint can make a room look like new.

  • Simple landscaping. You donít need to start carving topiary animals into your shrubs to increase your curb appeal. On the contrary, having a yard that is simple and well-maintained will appear cleaner and easier to take care of for prospective buyers.

  • Consult an expert. If youíve lived in your house for a while, it might be difficult for you to see which things might decrease the homeís value. Contacting an agent will help you gain an outside perspective on your house so that you can plan home improvement projects accordingly.