The Julie Pogue Properties Louisville KY Real Estate Blog

Glossary

Make Sense of those Confusing Real Estate Conversations 

Buying or selling a home can be stressful. But what may be even more stressful is having a conversation with your realtor or mortgage lender where you don’t really understand what they are talking about. Here’s a quick dictionary for you to help navigate those tricky conversations. 

Escrow 

An agreed upon amount of money that the buyer gives as a gesture of good faith that they are serious about moving forward on the contract.  The escrow check is held by either the listing or buyer’s agent and is given back to the buyer at closing.  

VA Loan

A type of loan backed by the Veterans Administration that is available to American veterans. It allows the buyer to secure long-term financing without having to make a down payment but may have higher interest rates and stricter inspection standards.

 

FHA Loan

A type of loan backed by the Federal Housing Administration that allows borrowers to make a lower down payment. FHA borrowers must pay mortgage insurance, which can increase their monthly payment. FHA loans also may have stricter inspection standards. 

Conventional Loan

Any loan not covered by the Veterans Administration or Federal Housing Administration. A conventional loan allows the borrower to select their down payment usually without the additional cost of mortgage insurance. 

Appraisal

A lender will always have a certified third party give their opinion on the price of the home. The appraiser will spend several hours touring the home and comparing like homes in the neighborhood to determine the home’s price. The appraiser must value the home at or above the loan amount or the lender will not approve financing. 

Home Inspection

The buyer pays a certified inspector to tour and report on the condition of the home.  Once the report is complete, the buyer has an opportunity to negotiate any repairs or they could choose to terminate the contract without penalty. 

Pre-Approval Letter

A mortgage lender will provide you with a letter stating based on an initial look at your financials you are qualified to buy a house within a certain range. Most sellers will look for a pre-approval letter when reviewing a contract to ensure the buyer is financially sound. 

Closing Statement

Shortly before you are scheduled to close on your home, the closing attorney should send a statement for you to review. This closing statement will list credits and debits due to the seller and buyer, giving each party a total of what monies they will need to bring to or will receive at closing. It is important to review this carefully to ensure any monetary amounts or home warranties promised during contract negotiation are listed properly. It will be too late to change the closing statement on closing day. 

Short Sale

A short sale will occur when a homeowner sells a house for less than the remaining loan. Short sales can be a lengthy process because they require approval from the lender. 

Foreclosure

A foreclosure can occur when a homeowner fails to pay their mortgage. The mortgage company can seize the property through court order and evict the homeowner. The mortgage company would then try to recoup their loss by selling the home. 

Title Insurance

When preparing for closing, your closing attorney or title company will preform a title search to ensure the homeowner owns the property and is free to sell it. Title insurance defends the homeowner in court if someone else claims they have a right to the property.

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Staging Your Home

Empty = Unimaginable 

Moving into a new home is an exciting time but if you’re trying to sell your home you may want to wait before moving everything out.

Though a vacant home is easy to show it can be difficult for potential homeowners to imagine themselves in the space. Empty homes, especially those with a higher listing price, may stay on the market longer than homes that appear lived in.

A unoccupied home can highlight its opportunities such as: chipped paint, cracks and faded walls or floors, making potential buyers more leery to write a contract or they may underbid the home because they know the homeowner has already moved on.

Staging is a term realtors and designers use to discuss options on increasing they overall curb appeal of your home inside and out. Designers will work with the homeowner to create a cozy atmosphere allowing buyers to imagine how they and their belongings would fit in the home.

When you create an inviting, clean, spacious and well-maintained look, you immediately set your home apart from others. The overall effect will increase traffic and ideally a faster sale time.

Staging doesn’t have to be a long or cost-prohibitive process. If you haven’t completely moved yet, designers can help you decide what pieces of furniture to leave behind to create that live-in look. They can also help de-clutter your home to show off its strengths. Depending on the size and challenges your home may face, some designers may recommend furniture rental in addition to painting, landscaping and new flooring options.

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