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Short Sale vs. Foreclosure: What You Need to Know

In Q3 2022, there were more than 92,000 foreclosure filings, including notices, scheduled auctions, and bank repossessions. The number is up 3% from Q2 2022 and 104% from Q3 2021. 

While homeowners believe that foreclosure is inevitable when they fail to make their mortgage payments, this is far from the truth. Homeowners have another option, and that is to make a short sale. What is a short sale vs. a foreclosure?

To learn more about the difference between short sale vs. foreclosure and the buying process for each, continue reading. 

What Is a Short Sale?

A short sale is when you sell your property for less than what you still owe on the mortgage.

For instance, if you still owe $250,000 on the mortgage, you could sell the home quickly for $200,000. However, you would still be responsible for paying the remainder of the mortgage, in this case, $50,000, and any cost associated with the sale. 

Most importantly, you cannot begin the short sale process without getting approval from your mortgage lender. The lender must sign off on the sale before it can proceed. 

Lenders often lose money on a short sale, so you will be required to provide documentation stating why a short sale is necessary. You will need to prove that your financial troubles were recent. Common examples include:

  • Divorce
  • Health problems
  • Job loss

If you list any financial struggles you disclosed to the lender when you first applied for the mortgage, the lender will deny your short sale. Additionally, if you mention any pre-existing financial struggles you didn’t previously disclose to the lender, the lender will see you as dishonest and likely not approve the sale. 

Once the lender approves the short sale and the property sells, the lender will collect the proceeds. The lender may forgive the remaining mortgage balance, but since the homeowner is still responsible for paying it, the lender may try to collect the funds through a deficiency judgment

What Is a Foreclosure?

A foreclosure is when the mortgage holder takes legal action against you after you fail to make your monthly mortgage payments. The lender takes ownership of the property, then sells it to recover the mortgage amount. 

Pre-foreclosure can begin a few months after you fail to make several months of payments. The number of payments you need to miss varies from lender to lender and between mortgage terms.

Each state governs foreclosure proceedings, so lenders must abide by these rules. This includes how lenders notify homeowners and provide alternative solutions, like refinancing options, to bring the loan up to date and avoid foreclosure. 

What’s the Difference Between a Foreclosure and a Short Sale?

Both short sales and foreclosures help you get out of paying your mortgage. But, the most significant difference between a short sale and a foreclosure is choice. A homeowner can choose to make a short sale. The process is voluntary. 

Conversely, foreclosures are involuntary. The lender takes legal action to control and sell the property regardless of what the homeowner says or does. 

Another difference is that homeowners engage in the short sale process, while only the lenders participate in the foreclosure process. When the homeowner decides to make a short sale, they will sell the home through a realtor. However, foreclosed properties sell in a public auction at the courthouse.

Short Sale vs. Foreclosure: Impact on Credit Report

While short sales and foreclosures both negatively impact your credit report, short sales don’t do as much damage.

The average credit score drop for a short sale is 50-150 points. The effect may only last for 12 to 18 months. Yet, for a foreclosure, the drop is 200-400 points.

Typically a foreclosure stays on your credit report for seven to ten years. For the first five years, you cannot buy a new home. After five years, you may be able to purchase a new home, but it will come with restrictions. After seven years, you can buy a new home without restrictions.

You will also be required to report foreclosure on all future loan applications.

However, a short sale may never show up on your credit report. The creditor has the option to report the debt reduction to credit agencies. Many don’t report it. You can purchase a new home immediately after a short sale with some conditions. You may need to report the short sale on future loan applications, but it’s not always necessary. 

Short Sale Buying Process

Buyers looking to buy a short-sale property will have better investment opportunities than buying foreclosed properties.

But, interested buyers should look for a pre-approved short sale. This is when the lender approves the property’s sale price before it goes on the open market. It signals that the lender and homeowner are ready to sell the property. 

If you negotiate the sale with the lender, they can reject any offer. Lenders, especially banks, are well known for having slow response times because there is a lot to consider regarding a short sale transaction. 

The lender wants to recover as much of the principal mortgage loan as possible. Thus, they often won’t accept an offer below the current market value or lower than the amount still owed on the mortgage. However, if the lender does accept an offer, it will still take time to process. 

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This is why scouting for a preapproved short sale is best. 

You can find short-sale properties on a multiple listing service (MLS). Set your search options to short-sale listings, and filter out short sales that are subject to lender approval or require a third-party review. A third-party review means the lender has yet to approve the short sale. 

You can also network with real estate investors, agents, and wholesalers to find short-sale listings.

Further, the local courthouse will have a record of properties in pre-foreclosure. The owners of these homes haven’t paid their mortgage for several months, and the lender has filed a notice of default. If the homeowner doesn’t negotiate a solution with the lender or pay the balance, the property can be considered a short sale.  

Pros of a Short Sale

Short-sale homes are often in better condition than foreclosures, which is why they provide better investment opportunities. Homeowners who decide to short-sell usually try to lessen the damage to their credit score by maintaining the property. 

Sometimes, short sales will sell for below market value, offering buyers an excellent opportunity to find a deal. This is especially so with preapproved short-sale properties. Plus, there is often less competition for short-sale properties because many don’t want to negotiate with the lender due to its inconvenience. 

Cons of a Short Sale

Since short-sale properties are sold as-is, buyers assume some risk. For example, the homeowner could change their mind and pay their past-due balance to keep the home. The money you spent during the home buying process for inspections would be lost. 

On the other hand, the house could require a lot of maintenance or be in poor condition because the homeowner didn’t have the funds to keep it up. 

Furthermore, short sales take longer to close because there are multiple lienholders. The process also requires more paperwork and due diligence than traditional home-buying.   

Foreclosure Buying Process

Like the short sale buying process, lenders want to recoup as much of the mortgage balance owed during a foreclosure sale. Banks don’t want to be landlords, so they try to sell the property as fast as possible for as much as possible. 

Unlike short sales, with a foreclosed property, you usually don’t get to tour the home or order an inspection before purchasing it. Since the property will be sold as-is, you need to pay close attention to the listing to understand the property’s condition better. 

Additionally, many foreclosures require a cash payment. Therefore, if you want to take out a mortgage for the purchase, you need to look for other home-buying options. 

To find foreclosure opportunities, you can consult the following:

  • Bank offices
  • Foreclosure websites
  • Local newspapers
  • MLS
  • Real estate agents and online searches

Foreclosure Pros

More often than not, foreclosed properties sell for below current market value, and the sale happens quickly. This is because lenders are eager to get rid of the property, and closing a cash offer is faster than a short sale or standard home purchase. 

Foreclosures also come with a clean title. After a foreclosure, the bank will remove all liens and encumbrances from the previous owner. 

Foreclosure Cons

The federal government states that 42% of households have mortgages, and the average mortgage debt is just over $200,000. Thus, providing a cash offer is challenging for many who want to purchase a foreclosed home.

Further, those with cash on hand often end up with a property needing significant improvements. Homeowners with financial woes tend to neglect maintenance or abandon the property altogether. Even if you get a property at a significantly lower price, you may need to spend a lot of money on renovations. 

Need to Sell Your House?

For those behind on their mortgage payments, carefully weighing the pros and cons of a short sale vs. foreclosure can help you decide the best way to recover the most funds for your property while saving your credit score. Many buyers are interested in purchasing your home, especially for a below-market price. 

If you’re interested in selling your house, let help. Get your home valuation now and quickly sell your home for cash. 

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    How To Spot a Bad Real Estate Agent: 10 Warning Signs

    Over six million homes are sold across America every single year. A successful home sale runs smoothly and can help you make a nice profit on your property!

    However, the condition of your home and property market aren’t the only things that can affect your home sale. The real estate agent that you hire to sell your home can also have a huge impact on the success of your sale. So, with more than 1.5 million realtors working in America at the moment, how do you choose a good one? 

    Well, knowing how to spot bad real estate agents can help you a lot. This will make it easy to spot red flags and avoid dodgy realtors. So what are the signs of a bad real estate agent?

    Read on to find out 10 warning signs of a bad real estate agent and what to do if you hire one.

    1. Poor Communication 

    Selling your home can take months, so you will have to deal with your realtor a lot. They need to provide clear, concise, professional communication.

    You need a realtor who is going to keep you up-to-date on home viewings and their marketing plans. You also need to be able to get in touch with them when you have questions.

    If you struggle to make an appointment with them or don’t hear back for ages this is a sign of poor communication. In that case, you should look elsewhere. 

    Of course, you also don’t want to hire a realtor who is going to bombard you with calls and information. If you find that their level of communication is overwhelming then it’s also best to avoid them.

    2. Bad Real Estate Agents Lack Confidence 

    Your realtor is responsible for selling your home and getting a great price for it. So if they can’t even sell themselves then this is a bad sign. 

    You don’t want a realtor who is too cocky or arrogant. However, you do want to find someone who feels secure in the knowledge they have and knows how to close a sale. 

    When you meet them, look out for a realtor with presence who really engages with you. You can also test their knowledge by asking lots of questions. This will show whether or not they can keep their cool.

    3. Lacks a Professional Network 

    Any realtor with an established professional career will have a great network. They can use this to: 

    • Negotiate your home selling price 
    • Organize open house viewings 
    • Offer referrals for home inspections 

    A realtor who doesn’t have a strong network is either inexperienced or can’t maintain professional relationships. Neither of these is a good thing! 

    4. Bad Listening Skills 

    Great listening skills are a must-have for any realtor. After all, they can’t represent your needs if they don’t understand what these are!

    Listening skills can also help your realtor bond with potential buyers and market your home to suit their interests. 

    Because of this, you want to avoid a realtor who doesn’t listen or struggles to take information in. If you constantly find yourself answering the same questions or explaining the same things, it is time to look elsewhere.

    5. Lacks Proper Experience 

    When it comes to marketing a home successfully, experience is key. This means that your realtor will understand your home’s value. They can use this understanding to help you set a realistic asking price.

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    They’ll also understand how to market your home’s assets and will be confident when talking to potential buyers. This can all help you maximize your profits. 

    An experienced realtor also has a detailed knowledge of real estate market trends. They can use this to market your property and find the perfect time to sell it.

    During your real estate agent interview, make sure you ask the realtor about their professional experience. This can tell you a lot about what they are bringing to the table. 

    6. Behaves Unprofessionally 

    Your realtor acts as your representative when selling a home, especially if you can’t be at viewings. So you have to trust them. 

    Because of this, you want a realtor who is going to behave professionally and keep your best interests at heart. This is why unprofessional behavior is such an important red flag to look out for.

    Examples of unprofessional behavior from your real estate agent can include: 

    • Them providing inaccurate or poorly-researched information 
    • Disclosing personal details about potential buyers 
    • Poaching clients from other realtors
    • Bad-mouthing colleagues or competitors 
    • Contacting you at anti-social hours
    • Being over-familiar or making you uncomfortable in person or when they communicate with you 
    • Being rude to you or potential buyers
    • Showing up late to meetings and house viewings 

    This behavior shows that your realtor isn’t committed to giving their job 100%. In fact, their energy may be elsewhere. 

    This doesn’t just make them difficult to work with. It can also mean that they aren’t trying their hardest to get you a good deal on your home sale.

    7. Is Too Pushy and Puts Pressure On You 

    A realtor can provide valuable support and expertise, but they are not there to make decisions for you. In fact, it is worth remembering that they have an interest in making a sale on your home and their commission. 

    A good realtor should provide insights and advice. However, they should never seem pushy or try to force you to make a decision. If you do notice them doing this then it is time to look elsewhere.

    8. Doesn’t Know How to Negotiate 

    Receiving a home offer can be an exciting time. However, you may find that potential buyers make an offer that is below your asking price. 

    This is when your realtor can make a huge difference. They will come back to you with the offer and let you decide whether or not you want to accept it. 

    A good realtor will recognize a good deal when they see one and can advise you on this. However, they cannot accept an offer on your behalf, even if they advise you to. 

    Instead, you can ask them to negotiate on your behalf. How they handle negotiations can have a huge impact on the success of your sale. 

    For example, if they aren’t confident or don’t communicate quickly, you could lose a potential buyer. So you want someone who knows what they’re doing and is on top of things.

    Of course, you don’t want to wait until crunch time to find out if your realtor can negotiate. Ask about their negotiation strategy when you first meet with them. This will give you a good idea of how they will handle negotiations further down the line.

    9. Has No Marketing Skills 

    The key to getting a great offer on your home is good marketing. This helps the right buyers find your property. 

    Because of this, you should check out a realtor’s marketing skills before you hire them. Take a look at the properties on their website and search for them online. The more visible they are, the better their marketing strategy.

    Of course, you also want to see a marketing strategy in place. A consistent brand and content show great marketing skills. In comparison, marketing that is all over the place will make it harder for buyers to find your realtor and their services.

    Digital Marketing Skills 

    Digital marketing, in particular, is a must-have. After all, we spend hours every day on our phones and computers. So why not make the most of this captive audience? 

    You can check out a realtor’s digital marketing skills easily by looking at their website or social media pages. The more they use these, the better their engagement will be.

    Because of this, you should be wary of any realtor without an online presence or with an empty social media feed.

    10. Shows Questionable Ethics 

    Bad ethics go beyond the limit of unprofessional behavior and can make it very difficult for you to sell your home. In fact, you could even report a realtor for unethical behavior, such as: 

    • Discriminating against you or potential buyers
    • Charging referral and unearned fees 
    • Practicing without a valid real estate license 
    • Giving you unqualified legal advice while you are selling your home 
    • Misrepresenting you, either by accident or intentionally
    • Representing both you and your buyer (this is also known as “dual agency”) 

    Some of this behavior isn’t just unethical; it is also illegal. Fortunately, you can report your realtor or make a complaint against them. To do this, reach out to the local Association of Realtors or the Department of Justice in your state.

    What Can You Do If You Notice the Signs of a Bad Real Estate Agent?  

    Ideally, you should look out for the signs of a bad realtor before you hire them. However, this doesn’t always happen. 

    If you are concerned about your realtor’s behavior, it is important to address this as soon as possible. The last thing you want is to spend months dealing with a bad realtor. 

    Start by raising your complaints with them and see how they respond. They may hold their hands up and clean up their act. This isn’t ideal, but it can save you a lot of admin.

    If not, then you should get rid of your realtor as soon as possible.

    Have You Signed the Listing Agreement? 

    When a hire a real estate agent, you sign a written listing agreement. This gives them permission to market your property and represent you during your home sale.

    This agreement includes your terms for hiring a realtor, such as: 

    • The listing price you have agreed to 
    • Their duties in representing you 
    • Any duties you have to fulfill (such as making the property available for viewings) 
    • The agent’s commission rate
    • Terms for mediation 
    • An automatic termination date if your property does not sell 

    It can also include a clause for broker’s compensation. You owe this to the realtor if you fail to fulfill your duties. If you choose to dismiss them, then you may also owe them compensation. 

    There are different types of listing agreements that you can sign. For example, you may have signed an exclusive agency listing agreement or open listing agreement. These let you market and sell your property without help from the realtor.

    In comparison, an exclusive right-to-sell listing agreement makes this more difficult. Even if you do sell your property without their help, you will still have to pay their commission. 

    If you have signed the listing agreement already, then you will need to discuss this with your realtor. Depending on the type of agreement you have, you may be able to sell your property without them releasing you from your listing. 

    Will Your Realtor Release You From Your Listing Agreement? 

    You can terminate your listing agreement according to the terms in the agreement itself. This might include cancelation fees. 

    Some realtors may try to convince you to stay or make it difficult for you to leave. After all, they want to get their commission on your home sale. 

    It is best to approach this calmly and with plenty of evidence. Explain why you want to terminate the agreement and list examples of their behavior. Put this in an email so you have a record of the exchange. 

    While you may still have to pay the cancelation fees, most reasonable realtors will accept this, especially if you have evidence. This means you can be rid of them and start looking for other ways to sell your home.

    Try Selling With an iBuyer 

    If you are selling a home, hiring a realtor isn’t your only option. Using an iBuyer (or instant buyer) is a great way to save money and cut out the hassle of trying to find a realtor. 

    To sell your home to an iBuyer you simply: 

    • Upload your property details and photos onto a secure online portal 
    • Wait to receive all-cash offers on your home 
    • Arrange a home inspection for your potential buyer 
    • Accept their offer and complete the sale 

    This process is incredibly quick, and iBuyers offer great value for properties. So you don’t have to sell your home below market value. 

    On top of this, you won’t have to pay an agent commission for the sale. This means that you can maximize your profits!

    Keep the 10 Warning Signs of a Bad Real Estate Agent in Mind

    As you can see, when it comes to spotting bad real estate agents, there are plenty of things to look out for.

    Keeping these 10 warning signs of a bad real estate agent in mind will help you avoid choosing a bad realtor. So you won’t waste valuable time when selling your home! 

    Of course, you don’t have to worry about this when selling with an iBuyer. In that case, head over to iBuyer now to get a cash offer on your home today!

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    How Much Does It Cost To Repair A House With Water Damage?

    Your plumbing system, faulty appliances, and catastrophic weather events have something in common. They can all cause water damage to your home.

    Most homeowners are shocked to discover how much water damage house repair costs can impact their wallets.

    Read this article for answers to the most pressing questions about water damage repair. We’ll cover how to detect water damage, how to prevent it, and how much you’ll likely pay for water damage restoration.

    This is particularly timely if you’re considering selling your home.

    How To Spot Water Damage

    In the case of a home flooding, it’s not difficult to visualize and smell water damage. Soaking wet carpets, water-stained furniture, and ruined personal belongings are all clues.

    Unfortunately, water damage is often hidden behind walls, ceilings, or under flooring.

    If you don’t notice the damage, it can eventually result in structural damage to your home. What could have been a relatively easy and economical repair may end up costing thousands of dollars.

    Here are the hidden signs of water damage in a home:

    • Peeling wallpaper
    • Flaking paint
    • Water-stained ceilings
    • Discolored drywall
    • Buckled floors
    • Warped walls and ceilings
    • Musty odors
    • Mold

    Another clue to watch for is an unexplained increase in your water bill. If you pay close attention to billing trends and notice a sudden spike in usage, you could have a hidden leak.

    For home sellers, water damage is always on the formal home inspection checklist.

    Water Damage Restoration

    When dealing with water damage, the path to repair can be complex. There are several steps to take if you hope for a complete restoration.

    In most cases, you’ll need to call a professional remediation company. Professionals bring the best equipment for the job and can also handle any permits required during the repair process.

    The first step to repairing the damage is an inspection of your home and its structure. If you have structural damage, it may not be safe to even remain in the house.

    After the initial assessment, you can begin removing any standing water. Professionals use industrial-type wet vacs and submersible pumps, which can remove thousands of gallons of water. 

    Once you handle standing water, you can begin the drying process. Professionals use industrial dehumidifying equipment and fans, which help speed up the water evaporation process.

    After removing water from walls, floor pads, and building materials, you may need to clean and sanitize your home. Store-bought air fresheners won’t suffice, so you’ll likely need professional air scrubbers.

    After you’ve removed the water, it’s time to make any necessary repairs. Repairs may include the following:

    • Roof repair
    • Floor repair
    • Drywall replacement
    • Carpet installation
    • Repainting

    In addition to working through the restoration process, you’ll also work with your insurance company to submit whatever documentation they need to process your water damage claim.

    What Factors Determine Water Damage Repair Cost?

    Several factors determine water intrusion repair costs, including the size of your home and the amount of water involved. The type of floodwater you’re dealing with is another significant factor in determining your repair costs.

    Water damage professionals categorize floodwater based on the level of hazard the water presents. They use the following categories:

    Category 1

    What separates Category 1 water is its source. This is clean water that comes from a sanitary source. For example, water from a faucet is clean, and so is melting snow.

    It’s determined to be clean because it’s not dangerous for humans or pets. Even so, it can cause significant property damage.

    Category 2

    Water deemed to be Category 2 isn’t considered clean. This water is used and contaminated. However, it does not contain sewage.

    Category 2 water, often called gray water, comes from appliances such as washing machines and dishwashers. It may also come from a failed sump pump, sink drain, or overflowing toilet containing only urine.

    Category 3

    The worst category and considered highly unsanitary, Category 3 water contains bacteria, household chemicals, and sewage. This water can cause illness and even death if a person ingests it.

    You may hear Category 3 water called black water. It comes from a toilet overflowing with feces, sewer backups, and flooded rivers and streams. Category 2 water can become Category 3 if bacteria develop.

    Each factor requires a different level of restoration, which impacts the water damage repair cost.

    Water Damage House Repair Costs

    The average cost to repair water damage is $3,300. Depending on the damage and the other factors listed in the previous section, you could pay up to $13,000 or more.

    Professionals calculate costs based on the level of property loss. Class 1 water loss is the least expensive, and Class 4 requires the most intervention, making it the most costly. 

    Here is more information about water loss classification: 

    Class 1

    If you have a Class 1 water loss, the damage is usually limited to one part of a room. This type of loss might also impact a large area but with minimal water absorption.

    Cost: $150 to $400

    Class 2

    A class 2 water loss damages all the carpet in one room. The upholstery and cushions will be soggy if you have furniture in the room. 

    You’ll see a waterline on the walls that measures less than 24 inches high. Building materials like plywood, concrete and structural wood will be saturated with water.

    Cost: $500 to $1,000

    Class 3

    It’s common to find Class 3 water loss in walls and ceilings, insulation, carpet, and sub-flooring. Usually, the water comes from overhead, such as from a leaky plumbing pipe located above the ceiling.

    The water saturates everything in the area.

    Cost: $1,000 to $3,000

    Class 4

    If you suffer a Class 4 property loss, your home has extensive water damage. Damaged materials have deep pockets of saturation, resulting in longer drying times than materials from Classes 1 through 3.

    Remediation also requires unique methods and equipment.

    Cost: $20,000 to $100,000

    Labor Costs To Repair Water Damage

    When you work with a water restoration professional, you’ll get an estimate for the project after they perform their inspection. In most cases, labor will make up a significant portion of the cost.

    When considering labor costs, it’s essential to know that the water damage repair process happens in two phases. 

    First, you must dry out the house. The second phase is restoration.

    The timeframe for the completion of the project will depend on the category and class of damages. Expect to pay between $70 and $200 per hour for every technician working on your project.

    You may pay more or less depending on your location.

    Additional Costs Associated with Water Damage Repair

    So far, the cost to repair water damage covers drying out the house. You may incur other charges beyond water removal and dehumidification.

    For example, let’s say you have a flood-damaged 800-square-foot basement with unsalvagable carpet. To install a new carpet, you spend between $1,400 and $6,000.

    Harwood flooring can suffer extreme water damage, especially if left without treatment for too long. If you have to replace or refinish hardwood floors, you’ll pay around $10.45 per sq. ft.

    You may need to replace entire sections of the drywall. Drywall replacement costs around $1.40 per sq. ft.

    Plaster walls often need replacement, which is a much more expensive repair cost than drywall at between $6.25 and $18.75 per sq. ft.

    Mold is another issue that many homeowners face after water damage. If it happens to your home, you’ll need mold remediation. Your cost will run about $5.00 per sq. ft.

    How To Prevent Mold After Water Damage

    One of the unpleasant and unhealthy effects of water damage is mold development. Aside from the smell, allowing mold to grow in your home risks your health.

    You can prevent mold from growing, but time is essential. If your home is not completely dry within roughly 24 hours, mold will develop.

    If you hire a water damage technician, they will do everything possible to prevent mold growth. Many homeowners choose the DIY route to water damage restoration. If that’s what you decide to do, then you’ll need to move quickly.

    If you have a wet/dry shop vac, it will be a great tool to start the drying-out process. The job will go faster if you can rent an industrial-grade wet/dry vacuum.

    You’ll want to start drying out the water-logged area immediately, which means using fans. You can begin with box fans, but you should consider renting an industrial fan since they can move five times as much air.

    While you can use a consumer-grade dehumidifier, an industrial-quality dehumidifier will dry things out faster. Using a rental dehumidifier, you should be able to pull 18-20 gallons of water from the air every 24 hours. Most consumer-grade dehumidifiers have small tanks that only absorb 5 gallons of water daily.

    More Tips on Preventing Mold

    Using the best machines and techniques helps prevent mold development, but there are a few other things to keep in mind.

    When cleaning up, start with areas with Category 3 water damage. Black water is a prime breeding ground for mold spores. After dealing with Category 3 damage, you can move on to gray and fresh water-damaged areas.

    Don’t keep waterlogged and unsalvageable material. It can develop mold weeks after your home flooding occurs. Even materials with just a trace of moisture can host mold growth.

    After restoration, you’ll want to be aware of clues that you haven’t eliminated all the water. You’ll also want to stay alert to signs of mold development, including:

    • Musty odor
    • Warped drywall
    • Paint deterioration
    • Visible mold

    Pay close attention to the carpet and drywall. You should always check by touching the areas because they may look dry but feel wet.

    If you find mold growing, take steps to remove it, and perhaps, contact the company that took care of the water damage repairs.

    How To Prevent Water Damage

    When you experience water damage, you may not know what to do next. It can feel overwhelming, but a quick reaction can help you minimize the damage and the cost of repairing your home.

    While you can’t prepare for every catastrophic event, you can be proactive.  It’s a good idea to use this section as a checklist as you go through the motions of securing your home from water damage.

    • Inspect sinks and drains
    • Locate water shut-off valves
    • Install leak detectors
    • Monitor the sump pump
    • Fix plumbing leaks
    • Caulk around windows and doors
    • Keep gutters and downspouts clean

    You should also check your appliances.

    If your refrigerator includes an icemaker, ensure the water lines are intact. Water heaters are notorious for causing floods. Every year, inspect for slow leaks, pooling water, rust, or corrosion.

    Don’t forget your air conditioner. Keep an eye out for leaks or water damage in your unit’s area. 

    How Your Water Bill Can Prevent Water Damage

    Earlier in this article, you read about increased water usage and water damage. Keeping track of changes in water usage is as simple as tracking your water bills.

    While many homeowners don’t pay much attention to minor differences in monthly water bills, a significant spike should get immediate attention. A big jump could indicate a hidden water leak.

    If you can rule out a leaking toilet, dripping faucet, watering the lawn, or filling the swimming pool, it’s time to get more serious about narrowing down the cause of a higher bill.

    The longer water damage goes unchecked, the higher your risk for costly repairs. 

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    Even if you take all the measures to protect your home, you can’t always prevent water damage. When you experience severe water damage, house repair costs may be too much for your finances.

    It’s also possible you’ve discovered water damage in a home you’re trying to sell. If that’s the situation you’re facing today, you have options.

    Many homeowners in this situation take advantage of a cash offer from

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    Can I Fire My Realtor? Here’s How To Get Out of a Contract

    Realtors. They are the people that can help make your dreams come true when it comes to homes. 

    These people are the ones that can help you sell a home for as fast or as highly priced as you want. Or, they can be the people that help you buy your dream home. 

    In the United States, there are plenty of options when it comes to real estate agents. That is because there are over three million people in the country that have a real estate license. 

    Sometimes, you may want to know how to break up with a realtor. That is because, unfortunately, not all of those real estate agents are going to be the perfect fit for you. 

    If you find yourself in one of those situations, you may see that it can be a little difficult to get out of a realtor contract. This guide will show you how to get out of a realtor contract and show you the signs that it may be time to move on from your real estate agent. 

    Can I Fire a Realtor? 

    So, the first question you may be asking with this article is “can I fire my realtor?” Well, the answer to this question is technically yes. However, it may not always be the easiest process. 

    Not only can it be a difficult process, but this also is not always the morally correct move. The reason why this can be the case is that most real estate agents work on commission

    This means that they do not get paid until you buy or sell a home. If you work with a real estate agent long enough, it can mean that they spend months working on your home without seeing any money if you decide to move on. 

    With that said, you can do this. How easy it will be is going to depend on if you have an exclusive agreement with that real estate agent or not. 

    Most real estate agents will ask you to sign this in the early stages of working with them. It means that you will give them exclusive rights to help you buy or sell a home for a certain time. 

    If you want to fire a real estate agent in the middle of this time, it will be more difficult because it typically states in these contracts that they can have the right to the commission on your home if it gets sold in the time referred to in the contract. 

    Of course, you do have the option of letting them go before you sign with them or waiting until the exclusive agreement expires. But first, you need to know the signs of when you should fire a real estate agent. 

    Signs That I Need To Fire My Realtor 

    Now that you know that you can fire your realtor, you need to know some of the biggest signs that you should consider doing so. The following are a few notable signs. 

    Lack of Communication 

    One of the most justifiable reasons to fire a real estate agent is if they have a lack of communication. This can just be them failing to explain why they cannot find a house or a buyer that meets your needs. 

    It can also be them having a lack of availability to respond to your phone calls or messages. This is not just them failing to answer right away but letting your calls or messages go completely unanswered. 

    Essentially, you do not want a real estate agent that leaves you in the dark about things. You especially do not want a real estate agent that fails to guide you on what a realistic offer is on either side of a home purchase. 

    Lack of communication is one of the biggest reasons why business or workplace relationships do not work. Around 86% of employees note a lack of effective communication as the main reason for workplace failures. 

    What this means is that you should not underestimate the importance of effective communication. You need to consider finding another real estate agent if your current one is not providing you with this. 

    Ignoring Your Needs 

    Another legitimate reason that you can fire a real estate agent is if they are ignoring the needs that you are requesting from them. This can be giving you the house size that you want, the location that you want, or the price range in that you want to buy a home. 

    A lot of this goes back to communication as discussed above. A real estate agent should be doing everything they can to meet your requests. The main key on your end is to make sure they understand exactly what you want out of this before you begin. 

    As long as they have this understanding, you should expect that a real estate agent is going to take care of your needs. If they fail to provide what you are looking for, they need to properly explain why these needs can’t be met. From there, they should have an alternative idea to get as close to your needs as possible. 

    The point is, your real estate effort should be giving the absolute maximum effort to try and find you the perfect home or the perfect buyer for your home. 

    Lack of Exposure 

    If you are trying to sell a home, this can be a big reason that you have a problem with a real estate agent. As a seller, you would be relying on your real estate agent to promote your home to as many people as possible. 

    One of the ways that you can do that is by having a strong online presence. To do that, you are likely going to have to have some good photos of your home out there. 

    It is a real estate agent’s job to manage this and to make sure the right photographer is getting your home in the best light. If they fail to do this, it can lead to potential buyers overlooking your home. 

    A home that has high quality photos online sells 32% faster than those that don’t. So, if you are not happy with your home exposure and feel like your realtor does not have the skills to fix this, it could be time to move on. 

    Personality Clash

    Finally, there are some real estate agents you just do not have a good relationship with. Some can get aggressive and impatient while you may be someone that is more cautious and wants to take your time making a big decision. 

    Or, you could be someone that wants to move quickly and your real estate agent does not move with that sense of urgency. This can be just as bad because you can start to blame your real estate agent if you do not move on a house fast enough. 

    If you feel like you cannot work well with a person, that could be a sign that it is time to move on. 

    Downsides and Risks of Firing a Realtor

    As stated above, firing a realtor may not always go smoothly. The main downside that comes with firing a realtor is if you have an exclusive agreement with them. 

    If you decide to sell the home yourself and you signed an exclusive right to sell agreement, you would still have to pay them a commission if you managed to do it yourself while the contract was still active. 

    Another situation that comes up with these exclusive agreements is the timing of them. Let’s say that you want to fire a real estate agent after working with them for one month. However, you have a contract with them that makes them your exclusive agent for another five months. 

    This can cause a problem when it comes to buying or selling a house. It can result in you having to lower the value of your home because it will be on the market longer. Or, it can cause you to delay moving plans that you have because you may have to wait for that contract to expire. 

    The point is, if you are in the wrong situation with a real estate agent, moving on from them can end up being a costly endeavor for you. 

    What To Do Before Firing a Realtor

    The main thing you want to do is have a plan. Are you prepared to wait for a potential contract to expire if they refuse to let them out of it? 

    Or, will you try to get out of your contract early? If you do this, you will have to come up with a game plan to calmly explain why this is not working out. Then, you would have to convince them why it would be beneficial to let you out of your contract early. 

    You want to prepare for your next move before firing a real estate agent impulsively. This is especially the case because it is going to be one of the biggest financial decisions you will ever make. 

    How To Fire a Realtor as a Seller

    As a seller, you really need to have a few scenarios prepared. If you do this early enough, you want to make sure that you do not sign an exclusive agreement with a realtor. Then, it is easiest to move on from them cleanly. 

    If you are already in an agreement, you are going to want to time this right. You may want to do it early enough when the realtor is not deeply invested and it benefits them to save their time on you. Or, if it is late enough into the agreement, you want to wait until the agreement expires before entertaining other buyers. 

    How To Fire a Realtor as a Buyer

    Most of the above go similarly for firing a realtor as a buyer. It will depend on if you already signed that agreement or not. If you did, then either try to fire them early into the agreement or just let the agreement expire to avoid having to pay them a commission. 

    What Can You Do After You’re Released From Your Contract?

    So, if you get out of a contract described above, you need to know what to do next. As a seller, there are two main options for you. 

    FSBO Route 

    The first route that you can take is the for sale by owner route. This is when you have no real estate agent working for you and you just sell a home yourself. 

    While you do not have to pay a commission here, you have to do all of the paperwork, negotiation, and advertising yourself. 

    Do not underestimate this process. It can take up to 58 days to sell a house even with a real estate agent.

    If you do it on your own, it can take even longer. So, make sure this is something you are willing to do before going further. 

    Sell to an iBuyer

    The alternative to the above is to find an iBuyer. This can be a third-party affiliate that helps connect you to prospective buyers online. It can greatly help you speed up the process of selling a home. 

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    These are some of the main things that you need to know when it comes to how to break up with a realtor. You need to know the options you have once you do this, what it takes to fire a realtor, and signs that you should fire a realtor. 

    As long as you are prepared for the drawbacks, you should be good to go. 

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    Selling a House With a Reverse Mortgage

    In 2021 alone, more people opted to get reverse mortgages compared to 2020 and the years before that. A reverse mortgage can be beneficial for a variety of reasons, but it may also come with a few downsides, especially if you plan on selling your house in the near (or far) future. But what should you know about selling a house with a reverse mortgage?

    How is it any different than selling your house regularly?

    Can you sell a house with a reverse mortgage without encountering any problems? Can I sell my house with a reverse mortgage? Keep reading and find your answers below.

    Can You Sell a House With Reverse Mortgage?

    There are many questions that a person needs to ask themselves before they decide to sell their house. One of the most important questions to ask is can you sell your house with a reverse mortgage? The simple answer is yes, you can. 

    However, while that is the case, there are certain things you should keep in mind. This is because there are a few details you will need to consider when selling your house with a reverse mortgage compared to selling a home without a reverse mortgage. The good news is that as long as you do everything correctly and advise the right people about your decision, you shouldn’t encounter too many problems. 

    By the end of the entire process, you should be able to sell your house and move on with your life. The main thing you need to do is contact your reverse mortgage lender before you decide to put your house up for sale.

    You should also remember what a reverse mortgage is. This type of mortgage does not require you to make payments (at least, not at first). On the contrary, you can get money from this kind of mortgage. 

    This is because it allows you to take the equity of your home via monetary payments. Many people may decide to get a reverse mortgage for a variety of reasons. Some may decide to get this kind of mortgage to do repairs on their home, to buy something nice, and so on. 

    Whatever the case, many people get reverse mortgages as they can be quite useful. But you also need to consider that there are different types of reverse mortgages out there. For that reason, you should be familiar with the different types before you put your home up for sale. 

    Types of Reverse Mortgages

    Learning how to sell a house with a reverse mortgage doesn’t have to be impossible, but there are a few things you should consider. A popular type of mortgage is a Home equity conversion mortgage (HECM). It doesn’t have any income limitations and you can use this mortgage for just about anything. 

    For that reason, it is one of the most common types of reverse mortgages out there due to how versatile it is. The main downside is that counselling is necessary before you go through with the mortgage. Whatever the case, it is a good choice for most people. 

    Another type of reverse mortgage is a proprietary reverse mortgage. Instead of being given by federal lenders, this mortgage is instead provided by private lenders. This is often the most popular reverse mortgage among those who have homes that have very high appraisal values. 

    There is also a single-purpose reverse mortgage. This type of mortgage is not very popular because it is relatively limited. As the name infers, you can only use this mortgage for one thing which is why it is not very popular. 

    For example, you may be able to use this mortgage to make a repair on your property, but that’s it. Knowing the difference between these reverse mortgages is important because a certain type may be more beneficial to you than others. More than that, certain types may have additional details that you may need to consider in comparison to others. 

    What You Need To Consider Before Selling

    When you sell a house with a reverse mortgage, you should know that it is not quite the same as selling a house without this kind of mortgage. In particular, when you have a reverse mortgage, you have the title but not the lien. On the other hand, the lender of that mortgage has the lien. 

    What does this mean exactly? One of the most important takeaways from this is that your house can’t get foreclosed. Besides that, the big thing about a reverse mortgage is that it needs to be repaid at a certain point. 

    The time period in which it needs to be repaid will depend on a variety of factors, although most of the time, you can repay the amount due at just about any time you want. There is also no penalty associated with when you decide to pay it off. 

    As you can imagine, this leaves you in a very flexible and stress-free situation. But there are a few more things that you need to think about before you go ahead and sell your house with a reverse mortgage. 

    Pros of Selling a House With a Reverse Mortgage

    There are, of course, quite a few benefits of selling your house with a reverse mortgage. The most notable benefit is that, as mentioned before, there are no penalties involved when it is time for you to pay off your mortgage. Some mortgages penalize you when you decide to pay off the mortgage early, but not a reverse mortgage. 

    You can pay off this kind of mortgage as early as you want (or as late as you want) and you won’t have to worry about any penalties. Another big benefit is that if there are any excess proceeds after the sale of your home, you get to keep them. Of course, you need to use a lot of that money to pay off the reverse mortgage first, but after that, you can keep the rest and do whatever you want with it. 

    As you can imagine, this would be an especially big benefit if you know that your home has only increased in price over the years. That way, you’ll have plenty of excess money to deal with. But what if your house has decreased in value?

    In that case, you still won’t need to pay any difference between the original mortgage cost and the price that your home sold for. Instead, you’ll only have to deal with the mortgage balance. As you can imagine, this can help you out quite a lot financially.

    Cons of Selling a House With a Reverse Mortgage

    Of course, you can’t have a few pros without also having a few cons. Fortunately, there are not too many downsides to speak of, although you should be aware of the ones you may encounter. The biggest downside is that it may take a long time to list and sell your house with a reverse mortgage. 

    You might even encounter some confusing problems. This is much more likely to happen if your home has lost value over the years. If your home has appreciated in value, then you likely won’t have to worry about this problem too much. 

    Another downside is that, unsurprisingly, a large chunk of your home’s equity will go toward paying off the reverse mortgage. But you will need to expect this since it only makes sense that the money from selling the home will go partially to paying off the reverse mortgage. 

    But, as mentioned before, most of the excess money will go to you to do with as you please.

    Mistakes To Avoid

    You will want to avoid not telling your lender about your decision to sell your house. You should always advise the lender about this kind of decision. That way, the lender will be prepared and you might learn some important information that may be necessary or significant when it is time to sell your house or pay off your reverse mortgage. 

    Another mistake is trying to go through this entire process on your own. If you do, you will likely end up confused, stressed, and frustrated. A better option is to find a company or partner that will help you get through this easily and smoothly like iBuyer. 

    Steps of Selling a House With a Reverse Mortgage

    If you are thinking about selling your house with a reverse mortgage, you might be wondering where you should start. After all, if you don’t think ahead and plan what kind of route you want to take, things could get confusing.

    The first step has to do with notifying your lender.

    Notify Your Lender

    Notifying your lender about your decision to sell your house is important for a variety of reasons. One of the most important reasons is that it has to do with finding out how much you owe on your reverse mortgage. Your lender should provide you with all of this information as well as any fees you may have that may come along with how much you owe. 

    When paying off what you owe, you should have the information in writing. That way, it will be easier to document and sort through later on, if necessary. If you don’t notify your lender when you sell your house, you could end up dealing with a lot of complications and confusing situations 

    For that reason, you should make the smart decision and contact your lender ahead of time so that the entire process can proceed in a smooth manner. 

    Talk to a Real Estate Specialist

    Talking to a real estate specialist is another very important factor you should consider when selling your house with a reverse mortgage. As mentioned before, you should avoid trying to go through this process alone. This is because you will likely encounter problems that you may not know how to properly deal with on your own. 

    This is why it is important to have a good real estate specialist on your side. A real estate agent is the most typical option, but you don’t always have to pick a real estate agent if you don’t have to. Instead, you can choose a company that specializes in this sort of thing and knows all about selling homes with reverse mortgages. 

    iBuyer, for example, is a great choice for this sort of thing. Opting for a company like this to help you with your real estate woes can make your life infinitely easier. It will also take most of the heavy weight from your shoulders so that you can focus on other matters that might require your attention as you go through the process of selling your house. 

    Get Your Home Ready To Sell

    Another big thing to do, of course, is preparing your home so that it is ready to sell as soon as you put it up for sale. While homes tend to take a few weeks to a few months to sell, you should make sure your home is prepared right away. 

    That way, as soon as your home sells, you won’t have to worry about your house and instead can look to the future and look forward to where you might move next. 

    Selling a House With a Reverse Mortgage

    Selling a house with a reverse mortgage can be a bit tricky if you aren’t familiar with the process, but it certainly isn’t impossible. There are a few things that you can do to make the process easier. For example, talking to a real estate specialist like can really help. 

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    Selling a Fire-Damaged House: What You Need To Know

    Every year, more than 358,000 houses suffer from fire damage in the United States alone. There are many different degrees of fire damage, and some may be mild, while others may almost destroy an entire house. Whatever the case, you might be wondering what you should know about selling a house with fire damage. 

    Can you sell fire-damaged house, or is it a lost cause? The answer will mainly depend on the extent of the damage. Besides that, it will depend on a variety of other factors, such as whether you want to do repairs on the house before you sell it, whether you want to sell it as-is, and so on. 

    Can I sell my fire-damaged house? Should I sell my fire-damaged house? These are all good questions and you can learn about the answers below.

    Selling a House With Fire Damage: How Bad Is the Fire Damage?

    Considering the extent of the fire damage in your home is an important thing to consider. After all, it won’t really be possible to sell a house that has completely burned down (although you may be able to sell the land it was built upon). If the fire damage is very severe, it might be difficult to sell your house, especially as-is. 

    This is because, of course, potential homebuyers won’t be able to do much with a house that has been mostly destroyed by a fire. On the other hand, if the fire damage was not all that severe, it will most likely be easier to sell the house. However, this may also depend on other factors such as the location of the fire damage, the extent of the damage, and so on. 

    For example, if there was only a very minor fire that happened to scorch the walls of one room, this wouldn’t cause much damage to the house itself. As a result, it would be easier to repair the home if a homebuyer decided to buy the property. It also wouldn’t be too expensive to repair. 

    On the contrary, fire damage that spread to other rooms and destroyed walls, floors, and ceilings would take a lot of time, effort, and money to repair. In some cases, the whole structure may even need to be knocked down and replaced, which of course, would cost even more money. 

    In some cases, fire damage may also spread to the external parts of the house, such as the roof, siding, or vegetation. This will only complicate things and make the home even harder to repair and harder to sell to potential homebuyers. But this doesn’t necessarily mean that a badly damaged house will be impossible to sell. 

    Besides the degree of fire damage, you also need to consider a few other factors that might come into play when trying to sell such a house. 

    When To Sell a Fire-Damaged House

    If your house has recently been ravaged by a fire, you might be wondering when you should take the leap and try to sell the property. When you sell your house will depend on a variety of factors since certain times may be better than others, depending on the damage and what kind of resources you have at hand. 

    The big thing to consider is to make sure that the house isn’t a hazard. This may require an inspection. This, of course, is very important because there could be liability problems involved if the house is a danger to you or potential buyers. 

    Besides that, you also need to think about how soon you want to move out. If you feel that you need to stay in the house for a bit longer to gather your things and get everything together, then you should take your time. But if you want to move out right away, then you should think about the fastest way to put your home up for sale so you can move on to your new home. 

    Once you come up with a plan for the immediate future of you and your home, everything will be much clearer for you. It will also make it easier to figure out when your home will be up for sale and how fast (or slow) it might sell.

    Sell With Repairs or As-Is

    The big question you need to ask yourself is whether you want to sell your house after repairing most or all of the fire damage or whether you want to sell your house as-is. If you decide to sell your house as-is, this means that you will put your house up for sale without doing any repairs on it.

    This can influence the success of your home’s sale, depending on the severity of the fire damage. For example, if your house has been severely damaged by a fire and is far from ready to live in, you might have some trouble selling the house as-is. 

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    This is because a homebuyer would need to go to the trouble of doing all the repairs and paying for them in addition to the price of the property. This, of course, can deter certain homebuyers from buying your home. This, however, may not be such a problem if your home only has some minor fire damage. 

    Selling such a house as-is likely won’t be such a problem because any repairs that may be required wouldn’t be very extensive or expensive. But what about repairing the house before selling it? This might seem like a counterintuitive thing to do. 

    What You Need to Know

    After all, why would you put money into a house that you are only going to sell? In a way, you can think of these repairs as a sort of financial investment for your property. By repairing the fire damage, your house will have a better chance of selling because the homebuyer won’t have to pay for the repairs themselves. 

    The repairs will also likely increase the value of your home. On the other hand, fire damage will obviously decrease the value of your home. Keep in mind that you don’t have to repair all the fire damage in the house if you don’t want to or if you don’t have the financial means to do so.

    Instead, you may only decide to repair part of the fire damage. Even if you do this, it can help the house sell faster and it will keep the house’s value from plummeting too much. Of course, the choice to repair the house or sell it as-is will depend on what you want and what is feasible for you. 

    Both decisions have their benefits and downsides. One option is not necessarily better than the other, but you may prefer one option for your property based on what is available to you at the moment or what you believe is best for your property and your finances. 

    How To Sell the Fire-Damaged House

    You might be wondering how you should go about selling a fire-damaged house. 

    While it can be difficult, it certainly isn’t impossible as long as you have the right resources at hand. 

    Sell With a Realtor

    Selling a house with a realtor is one of the most straightforward ways you can go about this process. The last thing you should do is try to sell a fire-damaged house on your own. If you try to do that, you likely won’t be able to get the price you want for it.

    More than that, you will have to deal with all the complicated matters on your own such as documenting the fire damage, disclosing the information about the damage, and so on. When you hire a realtor to help you, the realtor will do most of this for you. 

    So, the realtor will do most of the heavy lifting while you can focus on other important matters concerning the sale of your home. Besides that, a realtor will know how to make your house look as attractive as possible to potential buyers. Even if large portions of the home have been damaged and haven’t been repaired, a good realtor can still highlight the upsides to the house. 

    This is essential when trying to sell a damaged house. After all, while you do need to disclose the damage and its extent, you still shouldn’t undersell your home. It might still have plenty of good things about it. 

    It might have plenty of land, a good roof, a good foundation, plenty of square footage, and so on. Whatever the case, a realtor is an expert at analyzing a piece of property and figuring out how to highlight the benefits as much as possible. The Process

    Then, the realtor can add those benefits to the home’s listing, and hopefully, you’ll have some homebuyers that are interested. Of course, the main hurdle will be the fire damage. Your house might be a great find except for that damage. 

    However, don’t be discouraged if no one takes any interest in your house right away. There are some homebuyers who won’t mind buying a house that has been damaged by fire before. They might prefer to repair the damage themselves or they may find the property to be an interesting project to work on. 

    Whatever the case, there is always some buyer that will be interested in a fire-damaged house. Again, repairing extensive damage will help speed the process along. Even if you only do some repairs here and there, it will help the process more than you expect. 

    The main thing is to make sure the property looks good before your realtor lists it. If the house looks like it’s in shambles, it will look immediately unattractive to most potential buyers. But if the house looks like it can be repaired and has some promise, then the house will likely get plenty of attention. 

    Keep that in mind when considering the extent of the damage and how fast you want to sell your house. If you want to sell it as fast as possible, you will likely want to make some repairs, even if they are minor. That way, the house will look better up-front and the damage won’t scare away potential buyers right away. 

    Sell at an Auction

    If you don’t feel like selling your home with the help of a realtor or if that method doesn’t seem to be working, you can always try selling your house at an auction. This will be a good option if you are having trouble selling your house with the help of a realtor. 

    This may happen if the fire damage is quite extensive and destroyed much of the house. Selling your house at an auction may not allow you to get the price that you want for the house. Even so, it is pretty much a sure way to get at least some money from the property and for it to sell relatively fast. 

    This is a perfect option if you care more about parting with the property than you do about how much money you will get for the property. 

    Try Selling It With

    If the damage to your house is not too extensive, selling a house with fire damage to would be a great option. This company can help you determine the value of your home after the damage and how much it might be worth if you make repairs (or not). It will also help you sell your property much faster due to how effective it is and how much experience the brand has at selling houses at good prices. 

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    How Do I Sell My House? 7 Tips For First-Time Home Sellers

    Real estate is one of the most solid assets that you can buy. Owning the home you live in is one of the simplest and most practical ways to get into real estate. 

    Selling a home can feel complicated and nerve-wracking if you’ve never done it before. With the right advice, you can sell your home at a good price as quickly as possible.  

    Learn these tips for home sellers so you can use them in your favor.  

    Tip 1: Price Your Home Right

    If you’re hoping to sell your home fast, pricing is everything. The price must be attractive enough to get buyers and still priced to turn a profit. 

    First-time home selling requires you to do some research so you know how much you can expect to get for your house. This research will help you get a return on investment (ROI) in today’s housing market. 

    Wondering what your home’s worth in the current market?
    Get a free online home valuation!

    The average home sells for roughly $429,000 in the United States today. What goes into pricing your home effectively?

    Get a Professional Home Appraisal

    Understanding your home value is an essential part of pricing your home for the market. As a first-time home seller, you need a professional home appraisal to know how much your home is worth.

    You’ll kick yourself for pricing your home so low that you don’t capitalize on your home’s actual value. You will also kick yourself if you overvalue your home and price yourself out of the market. 

    Hire a professional that can give you a property appraisal for your house. Work with these pros, whether it’s your first time selling a house or you’re a seasoned real estate investor that owns many properties. 

    A professional home appraisal will include things like:

    • The geographic location or neighborhood
    • Age and condition of the home
    • Its features and fixtures
    • Materials that the home is made from
    • Number of bedrooms and bathrooms

    Home appraisers will give you the most accurate estimation of all these details. A professional home appraisal will cost about $300-$700 today. 

    Understand How Much Money You Need

    Consider your business and personal needs whenever pricing your house.

    For one, you should always seek to turn a profit with your home sale whenever possible. Many people also sell their homes for financial emergencies. At that point, turning a profit is less important than liquidity. 

    Perhaps you’re looking to buy a vacation home or other real estate investment property with the money from the sale. This means you must know how much you need for your down payment. 

    Set an amount and make sure your home sale price reflects that. 

    Incentivize Buyers to Act Quickly

    The selling process is easier when buyers are attracted to your property. People will always be more attracted when they feel that they’re getting a deal. 

    Consider pricing your home a little bit less than the maximum that you can get. Well-informed buyers will know that the home is excellently priced and will be likely to make you an offer and will be more willing to move forward. 

    Tip 2: Home Staging for Professional Photographs

    You can get 1% to 5% more from your home with some professional home staging. It’s harder to sell a home when people are looking at empty rooms. Once you stage the house, make sure also to get professional photos done. 

    Consider the Benefits of Home Staging

    Home stagers are professionals who can offer you insight into the real estate market. They will decorate and style the home in a way that buyers resonate with. 

    Some benefits of home staging include:

    • It helps people imagine living in your home
    • Home staging creates an emotional connection with buyers
    • It leads to better media for your home listing
    • The perceived value of the home increases
    • Staging can help you sell your home faster

    It’s easier to get your money’s worth from a house when you invest in home staging

    Hire Professional Stagers and Photographers

    Working with professionals is the best way to get value from your home staging. They understand the art and intricacy of this work, which bodes well for the outcome. 

    Home stagers can help you execute interior design strategies that sell homes. A professional photographer can help you capture it so that your home listing is effective. Both professionals have an eye for detail that you’ll be glad to use. 

    Market Your Listing

    You can only capitalize on a home staging if it is properly marketed. This means getting people out to your open house and enough search engine optimization (SEO) and social media traction to your listings. 

    The more visibility your listing has, the easier it’ll be to get it off the market fast. 

    Tip 3: Consider the Timing of Your Sale

    Timing is everything in business. This is especially true in real estate. Your timing for entering the market can be the difference between several thousand dollars. 

    There are a few different areas of timing that you should consider when selling a home. 

    Understand the State of Real Estate

    First, get to know the current real estate market. You should know whether it’s a buyer’s, seller’s, or renter’s market and why. Studying the current market will help you apply strategy and jump on potential leads. 

    Find out the current interest rate and whether or not people are eager to purchase homes right now. Having a detailed understanding of the real estate market will be especially helpful for negotiating. 

    Understand the Timing of Your Life

    Consider your reason for selling and how it will affect your personal, professional, and financial life moving forward. 

    Perhaps you’re looking to downsize your home and need to quickly get some cash in your bank account to make the transition. You might also be relocating for a job or looking to purchase a bigger home. 

    All of these factors are important to consider when you’re ready to put your home on the market. 

    Consider Other Recent Sales

    Timing can also work in your favor if a home comparable to yours recently sold. Whenever there’s a valuable home on the market, you can guarantee that it has several interested buyers. Once that home gets purchased, those other buyers are still likely in the market for a home. 

    This makes the time after a quality home goes off the market the perfect time to list yours. You’re more likely to drum up interest since several hungry buyers are in purchase mode and won’t want to miss out on the next big deal. 

    Tip 4: Know Your Local Market

    Understanding your local real estate market will also help you during the process. Real estate is arguably the most hyper-local form of business there is. 

    There are some key points you need to think about:

    Consider the State of Local Real Estate

    Some areas are always hotter than others when you consider local real estate. Know whether you live in a city where real estate is rising and in demand. If real estate is cold where you live, you may need to be willing to sweeten the pot to attract potential buyers. 

    Pull data on exactly how many residential properties of your kind are available in your city and use this information to your advantage. 

    Explore Your Neighborhood

    Your research should be thorough, all the way down to understanding the neighborhood your property is part of. Neighborhoods are actually one of the biggest selling points for a home. 

    Some of the attributes that might attract you to a neighborhood include:

    • Proximity to attractions
    • Safety and low crime rate
    • Walkability
    • Healthy property values
    • Lush greenery and plant life
    • Beautiful architecture and a variety of home types
    • Easy access and well-made streets

    Knowing the attributes and selling points of the neighborhood will help you with advertising and speaking about the property to prospective buyers. 

    Market it With Locals in Mind

    Understanding the local area is especially important when it comes to marketing the property. You need to not only understand local area property values and other price variables. Make sure that you also understand the culture of the city or town, along with its main attractions and features. 

    The more you can speak the language of a local area, the easier you can sell it. Local knowledge will also help you market the home in the best sites and publications to attract locals. 

    Tip 5: Put Together Open Houses

    Open houses can make or break your chances of selling a home. Put some thought into your open house so that you come away with the best outcome. 

    Before anything, professionally clean the home and make sure it’s free of clutter. Get the house as close to move-ready as possible so that you can seamlessly have people in and out of your home, allowing them to examine every nook and cranny. 

    Professionally Set Up the Open House

    Hire professionals to set up your open house. They know the top things that buyers look for and can highlight the home’s most important features. 

    This is particularly important if you’ve just made some major upgrades to your home that can help you sell it. 

    Have Information Ready

    Put together some information that will teach an eager buyer all about your home. Visitors will get an exhaustive breakdown of the key specifications, along with quick access to an application to make an offer. Include a 3D tour or multimedia they can check out on their own time. 

    You should also put together a mixture of hard copies and digital media. 

    Hire a Real Estate Agent to Run Your Open House

    Professional real estate agents will know the selling points and details of the property better than anyone and can help communicate them for you. 

    These professionals are also skilled at moving negotiations ahead and can speed up the process. Staff a team of real estate agents to run your open house and communicate with potential buyers. 

    Tip 6: Consider Your Closing Expenses

    Closing costs are always a major part of any home transaction. The more you know about these expenses upfront, the better. 

    Here are some points you should consider when handling the seller’s closing costs:

    Hire a Lawyer and Accountant

    Real estate professionals can help paint the most accurate picture of your closing expenses. A real estate lawyer will help keep the process organized and on task. 

    Combining the services of a certified public accountant (CPA) and a real estate attorney assures that every detail is accounted for. 

    Keep Thorough Records

    Closing time is when the most important business is done. Keep thorough records for yourself and the buyer. This makes the entire process transparent and can protect your legal and business interests. 

    Create both digital and hard copies of the most important documents. 

    Address Your Closing Diligently

    The closing process is also the time you will least want to make mistakes. Handle the process with the care and attention to detail that it requires. 

    In addition to hiring professionals, always thoroughly read and examine any important records. Consider whether you want to handle the closing costs yourself or split them with your buyer. This is often one of the biggest areas of negotiation during a sale. 

    Tip 7: Consider an All-Cash offer

    Finally, consider accepting a cash offer for your home. This is often the best way to get a quick sale while making sure you’re compensated to your liking. 

    There are plenty of companies that purchase homes for cash. is among the most experienced, fair, and detail-oriented that you will find. The company provides speedy, obligation-free quote offers in minutes. 

    They can match you with serious buyers and save you plenty of time, effort, and energy. 

    The Best Tips for Home Sellers

    These tips for home sellers will help you get the best results. Having the right information will get you started. Once you see how possible it is to sell your home, you’re likely to feel excited and motivated to do so. 

    From there, the only thing left to do is reach out to some pros that can help you.

    Cash Offers on your home?
    You’re in the right place!

    The post How Do I Sell My House? 7 Tips For First-Time Home Sellers appeared first on iBuyer Blog.

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    What Is Home Staging And Is It Worth It?

    Did you know that a professionally staged home spends 73% less time on the market? This is a huge difference if you’re in a hurry to sell your house.

    But what is home staging? What makes it so useful? How much does it cost, and is that cost worthwhile at the end of the day?

    We’re here to answer all of those questions and more. Read on to learn all about home staging.

    What Is Home Staging?

    Home staging is something homeowners, investors, or sellers do before they sell (or rent out) a home. It’s a way to make a home look lived in, but not too lived in. The goal is to show off the home’s potential. 

    There are many different ways to stage a home. Generally speaking, you want to stage a home for your ideal buyers. For example, if you’re selling a single-family home in a neighborhood with good schools and playgrounds, you may stage it in a way that would appeal to families with young children. 

    On the other hand, if you live in an area that’s popular for retirement, you may want to stage the home in such a way that it appeals to empty nesters and single older adults. 

    Home staging isn’t a necessary part of selling a house, but it is a helpful one. In a market that isn’t super hot, staging a house can be the difference between a quick sale and a home that stays on the market for weeks (if not months). A staged home may even get a better price (more on that later).

    Benefits of Home Staging

    So why do people stage homes? There are a few reasons. 

    First, staging helps buyers emotionally connect with a home. When a buyer sees a home looking like a home rather than an empty shell, the home becomes more appealing. They can see themself living there.

    But what if you already have things in your home? Do you still need to stage it? It’s already “homey” enough, right?

    Staging a home takes away personal touches to create a blank slate for the buyer. It also makes a home look neater and cleaner. The average lived-in home is far less tidy than a staged home.

    Again, you can also stage a home for a specific buyer. If you don’t have children, but you know your potential buyers likely do, staging a home allows you to tweak your home for those potential buyers.

    Staging a home also makes marketing the house easier online. A well-staged home looks great in photos, and those photos are generally the first impressions people will have of the home. 

    Generally speaking, the benefits of staging a home outweigh the downsides if sellers have the time and money to do it effectively. 

    Home Staging Options

    There are several ways to stage a home (or rather, to have it staged for you). Here’s a brief overview of each option. 

    Professional Stagers

    Professional stagers know all about what makes a home sellable. They will transform your home and turn it into something buyers will love to see. 

    Often, professional stagers work together with real estate agents or property management companies rather than individual sellers, but individuals are welcome to use their services as well.

    So what are home staging services?

    Think of them like interior designers. They will create a vision for your home and coordinate everything you need to turn that vision into a reality. Note that they don’t do anything that you couldn’t, in theory, do on your own, but they can save you time and they already have connections with local furniture supply companies. 

    You may be able to talk to the stagers about only staging certain rooms if you want to save money by doing some of the staging on your own. 

    DIY Home Staging

    DIY home staging is the most affordable option in theory, but it depends on how you do it.

    When you choose to stage your home on your own, you’re taking a risk. That risk might pay off (after all, you won’t have to spend much money), or you may find yourself wasting time and money just to hire a professional later on.

    If you’re DIY staging, you need to have some interior design know-how. Try to figure out what potential buyers want to see. Are you able to create that ideal space with your current belongings, or will you need to rent furniture?

    If you can do it with what you have, that’s great! Tidy everything, make sure you’re keeping your home in pristine condition, and you can do showings in your space without removing your belongings.

    If not, you’re going to have to rent furniture and decorations. While the DIY option is supposed to be the cheapest, this could end up costing you more money than you were ready to spend. 

    For some easy DIY home staging ideas, start with cleaning and tidying. Rearrange your furniture to make each room flow more nicely and to make the home seem bigger.

    Let more light into the home by opening windows and using mirrors to reflect light (this will also make the home look larger). 

    Real Estate Agent Home Staging

    If you’re working with a real estate agent, they may include taking in their services. Real estate home staging does cost money, but that’s because the real estate agent in general costs money

    They may use virtual home staging instead of real home staging. What is virtual home staging? It’s home staging that’s done through digital art.

    A graphic artist virtually adds furniture and decorations to photos of the home to create a realistic end result (and sometimes even a realistic virtual tour). They can even change the colors of the walls. 

    This is helpful if you’re still living in the home because you don’t have to disrupt your life while it’s being staged. Virtual staging is also often more affordable.

    How Much Does Home Staging Cost? 

    The cost of home staging depends on how you do it and how much goes into it.

    If you’re DIY staging your home without buying any extra furniture or decorations, it’s going to be free. However, you do have a time cost to consider. If you end up renting furniture and decor, the cost will go up per item. 

    If you hire a team of professional stagers, the cost may depend on the size of your home and the amount of work it will take. A small one-bedroom bungalow will cost far less to stage than a three-story six-bedroom home. 

    If you’re working with your real estate agent, the cost may be factored into the fees that they’re already charging you. This will depend on the real estate agent, however. Some real estate agents may not offer home staging as a part of their services. 

    Homeowners should expect to pay up to $7,500 on the higher end and several hundred on the lower end. It’s difficult to determine an exact number because there are so many variables. 

    Is Home Staging Worth It?

    If you’re selling your home the old-fashioned way, staging it is worthwhile in most cases. A large percentage of staged homes received higher offers in 2021.

    This is especially true if you don’t pay much for staging in the first place. If you choose to do mostly DIY staging fixes, the financial benefits are obvious (if you have the time to do so).

    Staged homes also sell more quickly than non-staged homes. 

    But what if you’re paying a lot of money for staging? Is it still worth it? In theory, yes, but if you’re in a tough market the ROI may not be as high as you’d hope. 

    Spending thousands of dollars to stage a home will likely not be as worthwhile as spending a few hundred. 

    If you’re in a hurry to sell, staging may also not be the best option. Yes, it significantly hastens the sale of the home, but it still takes time. There is a better alternative if you’re in a rush.

    Consider a Faster Way to Sell Your House

    So what is home staging? It’s redecorating a home to make it appeal to potential buyers. It’s a great way to increase the sale price of your home and quicken the selling process in general if you have time and money to spare.

    If you’re in a rush, there’s a faster way to sell. 

    At, you can see what your house is worth immediately and even get a cash offer. If you’re ready to sell right now, this is your best option. 

    Wondering what your home’s worth in the current market?
    Get a free online home valuation!

    Use our free home value estimator to get started today.

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    Can I Sell My House For More Than The Appraisal?

    In 2022, the average home price in the United States alone is $428,700. This is much higher than the prices of homes in previous years. As the housing market continues to evolve and prices tend to keep getting higher and higher, it is only natural that you want to get as much as you can when you sell your home. 

    Can I sell my house for more than the appraisal value is a very good question. You might also be wondering about the appraisal value vs. sale price and how they might differ. But this is a real question to think about.

    Can you sell a house for more than the appraisal, or do you have to settle with what the appraisal offers you? Keep reading and learn more about the details below.

    What is an Appraisal?

    Whether you can sell your house higher than the appraisal is a good question, but you should first know what an appraisal is. An appraisal has to do with finding the sale value of your home.

    Usually, the value of your home is determined by an expert. The expert will assess your home in various ways. For example, the expert may examine how large your house is, what kind of condition it is in, the year it was built, how many rooms it has, if it has any special features, and so on. 

    Wondering what your home’s worth in the current market?
    Get a free online home valuation!

    Various things can affect the appraisal price of a house. For example, if you just got a new roof, this will likely increase the value of your home since that is a feature many homebuyers look for when buying a house. On the other hand, if your roof is old and worn down and desperately in need of replacement, this will likely reduce the value of your home to some extent. 

    The Details

    There are also other things to consider like special features. For example, if your house has solar panels, this will count as a bonus since many houses don’t have solar panels and are increasingly sought-after by homeowners. Having a pool may also benefit the appraisal value of your house since, after all, having a nice pool is a luxury and a big bonus for those who can afford it

    There are also more minor things that may affect the house value. For example, the price may change slightly if a room or several rooms in the house have been remodeled recently, if the walls have been painted, if the floors have been replaced, and so on. Anything that makes the home more favorable to potential homebuyers will likely increase the price of the home to some extent. 

    On the other hand, anything that makes the home less attractive to potential homebuyers will most likely decrease the price of the house. For that reason, you should seriously consider the condition of your home before you get an appraisal. After all, you want to get the best price for your home you can.

    How Does an Appraisal Affect a Mortgage?

    A home appraisal has a huge impact on a home mortgage. This is because getting a loan for your house and the value of that loan has everything to do with how much that house is worth. This is due to the fact that a lender will only give you so much money for the loan based on the price of your house. 

    For example, if your home is not worth very much, it wouldn’t make much sense for a lender to give you a huge loan. After all, you could accomplish whatever you need to accomplish with only a small loan for a relatively low-priced or small house. Knowing the appraisal value will ensure that the mortgage lender will not give you more money than what you need to work on your house or do whatever else you need to do. 

    On the other hand, if your house has been appraised and valued at a very high price, the opposite will be true. Your lender will give you more money for the mortgage since you will require more money to work on or maintain such an expensive house. Besides ensuring that the lender doesn’t give you more money than necessary, a home appraisal also ensures that you don’t borrow more than you need to when getting a home loan. 

    Keep in mind that an appraisal is only an estimate of your home value. The actual selling price might vary from the appraisal price by several thousand dollars. However, you should also remember that an appraisal is a very accurate estimate. 

    While the price might vary in reality, it is still important to keep the appraisal price close in your mind since it is the number that most people will care about and remember. 

    Should I Get an Appraisal Before Listing?

    It depends. Getting an appraisal before listing may seem like a good idea, but it could actually be a very bad idea. This is because you may think that the price of your home is much higher than it is in reality. 

    If this is the case, then your house’s appraisal value will be much lower than you realized and it will be hard for you to sell it at a higher price. Even if you think that your house is worth a lot of money, you still might want to be wary of getting an appraisal because it might still be lower than you expect. 

    But how will anyone know the value of your home if you don’t get an appraisal? Usually, a real estate agent will help you by comparing your home with similar homes that are relatively the same size, age, and so on. Then, the agent will match the price of your home with those homes.

    That way, you will be on the same level as the competition. There are, of course, certain instances in which getting an appraisal may be beneficial. You just need to think twice about it before you decide to go through with it to make sure that you get the result you want (or at least close to it). 

    How Much Will the Appraisal Cost Me?

    An appraisal usually does not cost all that much. The exact price will depend on various factors such as your location, your individual house, the appraiser you use, and so on. Usually, you will have to pay between $300 and $450. 

    You will rarely have to pay more than this range. You might think that this is a bit expensive, but this is the price you pay for finding out the value of your house.

    How to Sell Your Home for More Than the Appraised Value

    Can you list your house higher than the appraisal value? The answer is yes, but you may want to think twice about it. If you aren’t happy with the original appraisal price of your home, you might want to consider getting a second opinion from another appraiser. 

    Or, you can ask your original appraiser to look over your house a second time. Whatever the case, getting a second appraisal may raise the price of your house somewhat so that it is more like what you want the house to be valued at. However, if you still aren’t happy with the value of the house, you can try listing the house above its appraisal value. 

    Keep in mind that if you do this, it may take a long time for your house to sell. But if you stand your ground, the property will likely sell at some point and you’ll be able to get the money you want for it. 

    Avoid a Bad Appraisal

    One thing you should look out for is a bad appraisal. A bad appraisal is when a house is appraised at a price that is lower than what it really is. Even expert appraisers can make mistakes if there are certain factors that may cheapen the appearance of your home. 

    The appraiser themselves may also be the problem. Remember that you should always choose a high-quality and professional appraiser with plenty of experience appraising and valuing houses. If you choose an appraiser who has virtually no experience in assessing houses, you could easily end up with a bad appraisal and a home value that is much lower than it should be. What Causes a Bad Appraisal

    Besides the quality of the appraiser, several factors on your end may result in a bad appraisal. For example, if you haven’t cleaned your house before the appraisal, this can make your house look run-down and cheap. You should also make sure that minor details are in-check and look great. 

    This includes the condition of light switches, door handles, drawer handles, plumbing, paint, and so on. You should also tell the appraiser about any renovations or redesigns that you have done recently. New renovated homes often sell for more than those that have not. 

    The main goal is to make sure that your house looks as good as possible before the appraiser arrives. That way, the appraiser will have a good first impression of the house and will hopefully give your home a good price as a result. 

    Sell With a Cash Offer

    You could always try selling your house via a cash offer for a more direct route. If someone wants to buy a house with cash, they will not need a loan.

    For that reason, a home appraisal won’t even be necessary in the first place. 

    While there are not too many good cash buyers out there, there are still a few high-quality choices that you can choose from like

    This is an all-cash buyer that has plenty of experience buying houses in this manner. So, if you want to part with your house immediately and don’t want to deal with the home appraisal process, selling your house to a cash buyer may be your best and most convenient option.

    Get Another Appraisal

    Getting another appraisal is a good way to see if you can get the appraisal value you want for your home. The first appraisal you got may have been a bad one.

    If you get a second one and ensure that your house is as attractive as it can be, the second appraisal value will likely be much better.


    If you are not happy with the appraisal value of your house, you can always negotiate. You can tell the appraiser about the upsides of the property. For example, suppose you replaced all the windows or got a new roof. 

    Maybe you recently renovated the bedrooms or replaced the floors. Whatever the case, be sure to negotiate rather than settle. That way, you won’t have to deal with a home price that you know is far too low.

    How to Handle a Low Appraisal

    Handling a low appraisal can be challenging. However, if you know what to do, it will be much easier.

    There are a few things you can do to help. As mentioned before, you can try negotiating with the appraiser. This may help, or it may not, depending on how lenient the appraiser is. 

    You can also tidy up your house and get a second appraisal in hopes of getting a better second opinion. 

    If the appraiser is not willing to budge, or if you don’t want to use a traditional appraiser in the first place, you can always consider doing an online valuation with That way, the process will go much more smoothly. 

    Online Appraisal With iValuation

    If you want to avoid traditional appraisers, you should opt for iValuation with iBuyer. This is a very easy tool you can use online that will help you determine the value of your home. You also won’t need to go through the same hassle as you would when dealing with a traditional appraiser.

    Get A Free Online
    Home Valuation in Minutes!

    Enter your home address


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    What Is Realtor Commission?

    Did you know that real estate agents charge a fee based on the value of your home?

    If you’re wondering, what is realtor commission? It’s a very important question since these fees can be anywhere from 1% to over 5% of the value of your property.

    Since these fees are taken out of the closing price of your home, they essentially come out of your pocket. This is why it’s important to understand these costs and how much you will have to pay to sell your home.

    Want to learn more about realtor fees and the costs associated with selling a house? You’re in the right place. Here’s everything you need to know.

    What Is Realtor Commission?

    Having a real estate agent help sell your home is a popular service. This is because a dedicated real estate agent may come with the experience and time to help sell your home for you. While modern platforms have made the entire process easier, a real estate agent gives you their time to help handle the sale for you. 

    In exchange for this service, they will add a fee to the sale of your home. This is known as the realtor commission. Unlike payment for other services, this fee is not always fixed.

    For example, you won’t necessarily be charged a flat rate of $5,000 to sell your home but rather a percentage of the total value of the sale. 

    Instead, you will sign a deal at the beginning of the process that outlines the realtor fee as a percentage. An example of this would be agreeing to a 5% fee based on the total sales value of your home. In this case, if your home sells for $100,000, you will have to pay the realtor 5% of that sum, which is $5,000.  

    Wondering what your home’s worth in the current market?
    Get a free online home valuation!

    How Much Commission Do Realtors Get?

    As mentioned above, real estate agents often get paid by commission. This means that they get paid based on the final selling price of your home. While there may be some benefits to this payment model, people often overlook a few downsides. 

    The clear benefit of this model is that you don’t have to pay for their services upfront. This helps as they can take their fee off the top whenever the home sells. In addition to this, the real estate agent is also incentivized to sell your home to the highest bidder since that is what will leave them with the biggest commission. 

    While these positives are clear, the negatives are also noteworthy. Since the real estate agent is incentivized to sell your home at the highest possible price, they may overlook deals that you’re perfectly happy with. For example, if you’re okay with selling your home for $100,000, but the real estate agent thinks they can get $110,000 for it, they may not close on the $100,000 offer. 

    This means that they are taking the risk of keeping your home on the market for longer in hopes that a better offer will come. If a better offer does not come in, you may end up selling your home for under that price in the future. At the end of the day, the future is unknown, and the added risk may not always be worth it.

    Real Estate Commission by State

    Regarding real estate commissions, the rate can vary from city to city and state to state. This is important to keep in mind when looking for a real estate agent to help sell your home.

    Despite the national average being around 5%, some states can end up with commission rates closer to 6%. Iowa is often on top of this list with an average real estate commission of around 6.15% compared to 4.66% in New York. However, the lower rate in New York may be due to the fact that New York real estate is so expensive to begin with.

    What Commissions Cover

    Real estate commissions are usually shared between a number of parties. They are all involved in the sale of your home in some way. As with all agreements, these parties should all be listed in the initial agreement you sign at the beginning of the process. 

    There are usually four different parties involved in the sale of your home. This includes the listing agent, the listing broker, the buyer’s agent, and the buyer’s broker. The listing agent takes the listing directly from the seller while the listing broker is the brokerage that employs that agent. 

    A simple way to understand this is that the listing agent is the real estate agent that you’re working with, and the brokerage is the real estate company that they work for. However, it’s important to note that a portion of the fees goes to the buyer’s agent as well. 

    The agreement that you sign will also state the split. This outline stipulates what percentage of the commission goes to each party. In most cases, the fee will be split in half so that the seller’s agent and the buyer’s agent get the same amount. 

    Within each half, the fee splits between the agent and the brokerage. While younger real estate agents may get a 30/70 split, experienced agents can expect a 50/50 split or better. This means that the commission you pay has to get split in a few different places, incentivizing the agents to sell the home for as much as possible. 

    Do the Commissions Cover Closing Costs?

    When you buy a home, there are closing costs to take into consideration as well. These closing costs can range from around 2% to 5% in some cases. However, it’s important to understand that these closing costs are entirely different from the realtor commission. 

    Closing costs can range from state to state and include many different fees and taxes. These costs include property tax, homeowners insurance, lender’s title insurance, inspection fees, appraisal fees, mortgage insurance, transfer tax, underwriting fees, and even a title search fee. 

    In most cases, closing costs are necessary to help finalize the sale of a property. The biggest chunk of these costs is the transfer tax applicable whenever a property changes ownership. However, these costs are added to the realtor costs, making the total cost even higher.

    For a buyer, this fee is generally added to their mortgage. This means their monthly payments will increase based on the added 5%.

    Do Realtors Get the Commission if the House Doesn’t Sell?

    A commission is usually only paid when the property is sold. However, most real estate agents include clauses to help them get paid even if a sale can’t go through. This is because the seller is still technically liable for all commissions at the end of the day.

    While these situations are rare, they can come up if you decide that you don’t want to sell the property anymore. In this case, you will still need to pay the real estate agent for the time they may have spent working on your sale. This is true even for cases where you and the buyer mutually agree to cancel the sale.

    This is why the standard flat rate may be a better option for some people. The flat-rate model pays directly for a real estate agent’s time. However, this model does not incentivize them to sell your home fast, leaving you with a massive bill that you may find difficult to negotiate. 

    Is Real Estate Commission Negotiable?

    When it comes to the commission that a real estate agent charges, these fees are generally flexible. This rate depends on several factors, with the value of your home being at the top of the list. The more expensive your home, the more likely you are to get a lower rate. 

    This is because the real estate agent knows that they will still get a massive commission at the end of the day.

    Are Realtors Overpaid?

    Realtors provide a service that essentially focuses on saving you time. This is why the question of pay is so complicated to answer. While these professionals can help take the stress off your shoulders, they also charge incredibly high fees for their time. 

    This is why you should always shop around before finalizing a deal with any particular agent.

    How Realtor Commission Has Changed Over the Years

    While you may think that technology has helped real estate agents sell your home a lot quicker, modern technology has actually increased the cost of hiring a real estate agent even more. This is because real estate agents leverage digital marketing to help advertise your home, adding to the costs of selling your home.

    While you may think these costs are paid by the real estate agent, they tend to absorb these costs and make the money back by increasing their fees. 

    In some cases, real estate agents will bill you separately for the advertising they do for your property. If they organize a professional photographer to take photos of your home or even hire furniture for an open house, these costs could be added to your bill. This is why it’s important to read the fine print when you sign a real estate agent deal. 

    In most cases, your real estate agent will want to list your home on various classified websites and run ads for your home. This means added platform fees that you may need to pay directly. However, it’s important to understand that even if the real estate agent does not bill you for these individual things, they will still need to get that money back somehow. 

    This is why the cost of hiring a real estate agent to sell your home has steadily been on the rise over the last few decades. 

    Avoid Paying Realtor Fees With

    While real estate agents can help take some pressure off your shoulders when selling your home, these services come at a hefty price. This can add to the purchase price of your home or cut into your gains if you’re selling a property. However, offers you an alternative.

    Selling your home with an iBuyer can save you both time and energy. Interested in getting started? Start by creating an account and finding out what you could get for your home.

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