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Ask the Expert: What Can Sellers Do to Prepare for a Home Inspection?

Stark_BuddyToday’s Ask the Expert column features Buddy Stark, director of Operations for HomeTeam Inspection Service.

Q: What can sellers do to prepare for a home inspection?

A: Completing these quick and easy tasks before beginning the selling process will help reduce stress and save your clients valuable time during the home-selling process.

Clean the House
An important part of selling a home is keeping it clean in anticipation of a showing. Cleaning the home will convey that it’s been well cared for and that the house is less susceptible to any issues caused by neglect.

Check All Windows
Have your client take a quick inventory of the windows to make sure they’re in good working order. Replace windows that are cracked or broken before the inspection to save time during the selling process.

Finish the Honey-Do List
Some areas of the home, although not typically thought of as areas that would affect a home’s appeal, may be displayed as safety concerns on a home inspection report. Your client can help themselves by replacing burnt-out lightbulbs, testing smoke detectors, replacing air filters and unclogging drains. These little things are easy to forget in day-to-day life, but taking care of them is a relatively easy task that will help potential buyers focus on the important systems of the home.

Check All Outlets
A sampling of electrical outlets will be tested as part of the home inspection to make sure they’re in good working order. Encourage your clients to take note of which outlets are not functioning in the home and replace them. Or, they may want to consider hiring an electrician to make sure both outlets and the electrical box are updated and in proper working condition.

Clear Areas for Easy Access
Home inspectors will be looking at the major parts of the home, including the foundation, HVAC systems, electrical systems, plumbing and even the water heater. Making sure home inspectors can easily access these areas, including the basement and attic, will save time during the inspection process.

Consider a Pre-Listing Inspection
Hiring experienced and professional home inspectors can save a lot of headaches during the selling process. They will thoroughly go through the home and notify clients of any potential issues ahead of listing the property.

For more information, please visit www.hometeam.com.

For the latest real estate news and trends, bookmark RISMedia.com.

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Making Sense of Valuation’s Alphabet Soup: CMAs, BPOs, AVMs and Appraisals

The following information is provided by the Center for REALTOR® Development (CRD).

This article explains the four most common valuation methods used for real property transactions and how and when they are used. It’s important to note that the methods below are not necessarily mutually exclusive. Lenders, servicers, investors, and other professionals use one or more of these valuation methods, depending on circumstances and the type of transaction. Often, one valuation method is used to confirm or quality-check the results of another.

Comparative Market Analysis (CMA): A CMA is prepared by a licensed real estate professional and is most commonly used to help determine a home’s listing price. The CMA should not be the only factor in determining listing price; rather, it is a guide for the agent and owner to evaluate the active and sold competition, and to serve as a tool in the price-setting process. A CMA can also be used—depending on variations in state laws—for a variety of other purposes, including loan modifications, short sales and foreclosure/REO purchases, value trend analysis, mediation and negotiation. It should not serve as the sole method of valuing collateral in a real estate transaction where a mortgage is being originated.

Broker Price Opinion (BPO): A BPO is prepared by a licensed real estate professional and is an estimate of the probable future selling price of a property. Like CMAs, BPOs may be used—depending on variations in state laws—for a variety of purposes, including loan modifications, short sales and foreclosure/REO purchases, value trend analysis, mediation and negotiation. They normally should not be used as the sole way to value collateral in a real estate transaction where a mortgage is being originated, even though in some states both BPOs and CMAs are technically permitted for purchase money transactions when the transaction is less than $250,000 (though allowed, CMAs are rarely used for this purpose).

Automated Valuation Model (AVM): An AVM is a service or software that provides property valuations, often based on mathematical modeling. AVMs are most commonly developed or used by lenders, servicer appraisal staff, and investors. While AVMs are most often used by lenders or secondary markets to confirm valuations provided in appraisal reports, they should not be used as the sole method to value collateral in a real estate transaction where a mortgage is being originated. They may, however, be used as the sole valuation option for other types of transactions, such as refinances.

Appraisal: An appraisal is prepared by a licensed or certified appraiser and is an opinion of a property’s value. Appraisals are most often used to value collateral in a real estate transaction and are required for most federally-regulated transactions above $250,000. Exceptions include transactions where no new money is involved. In practice, appraisals are used for the vast majority of purchase money transactions involving a loan. For the most part, lenders or servicers determine the use of appraisal or another acceptable methodology for transactions that are not purchase money.

Source: www.nar.realtor/appraisal/valuation-services-matrix

For more education about valuation and pricing, check out this month’s featured online certification course at the Center for REALTOR® Development, Pricing Strategies: Mastering the CMA, which is the educational requirement for NAR’s Pricing Strategy Advisor (PSA) certification, and is on sale this entire month of January at 25% off its regular price. This certification aims to help real estate professionals enhance skills in pricing properties, creating CMAs, working with appraisers, and guiding their clients through the anxieties and misperceptions related to real estate valuation.

For more information, please visit RISMedia’s online learning portal from NAR’s Center for REALTOR® Development (CRD) and the Learning Library. Here, real estate professionals can sign up for online professional development courses, industry designations, certifications, CE credits, Code of Ethics programs and more. NAR’s CRD also offers monthly specials and important education updates. New users will need to register for an account.

For the latest real estate news and trends, bookmark RISMedia.com.

The post Making Sense of Valuation’s Alphabet Soup: CMAs, BPOs, AVMs and Appraisals appeared first on RISMedia.

Ask the Expert: How Can I Guide Clients Through the Home Inspection Process?

Today’s Ask the Expert column features Adam Long, president of HomeTeam Inspection Service.

Q: What can be done to guide clients through the home inspection process?

A: After being in business for 25 years and performing over a million inspections, HomeTeam Inspection Service has identified the top ways to ensure a smoother home inspection, contributing to happier clients and a better outcome.

Make It Convenient
The home inspection process—from scheduling to report delivery—should be convenient for everyone involved. Online scheduling, text messaging and electronic delivery of reports make convenience possible when it comes to the home inspection. If a home inspection company isn’t providing this, clients are missing out on the best possible experience.

Don’t Keep Them Waiting
Ten years ago, it was commonplace to wait five days or more for a home inspection, but today, consumers want it now. Plus, consumers are busier than ever today. They not only want a home inspection that can be performed soon, but also one that can be performed in half the time of the traditional three- to -four-hour inspection. That’s a large part of what makes HomeTeam successful. Our team approach allows for a faster inspection and more appointment slots each day.

Give Them Options
Clients only want to pay for services they need. While most home inspection companies offer a wide range of services, client needs vary, and the leading home inspection companies allow clients to schedule individual services like pest, mold and radon.

Ensure It’s Educational
A home inspector will not give a pass/fail grade on a home, but will give an objective assessment on the condition of the home during the inspection. Educating the client on their new home and how to maintain it is a sign of a professional inspector. Communicating information in a non-alarming manner is critical to helping clients absorb information and make prudent decisions. An inspector that’s accessible to answer questions onsite and after the inspection instills peace of mind in clients and makes them more confident in their purchase decision.

Deliver Accurate Reporting
In addition to a verbal report that the client receives onsite, the most professional inspection companies will furnish a narrative, electronic report that’s emailed to the client and agent. A narrative-style report is more detailed than a checklist-style report, putting forth a clearer picture of the home with less room for interpretation. Including photos and a summary helps the client easily identify any safety concerns or areas that warrant attention.

For more information, please visit www.hometeam.com.

For the latest real estate news and trends, bookmark RISMedia.com.

The post Ask the Expert: How Can I Guide Clients Through the Home Inspection Process? appeared first on RISMedia.

 

Home Buyers: You can automatically receive personalized Chautauqua County MLS listings by e-mail. Simply choose Free Home Finder and fill in the requested information. Early each morning we will search the local MLS and find the properties that match your criteria and notify you immediately with the latest listing information!!

 

Chautauqua County Home Sellers 

If you're planning to sell your home in the next few months, this FREE service is designed to help establish your home's current market value. Simply choose My Home's Value and fill out the requested information. We will use comparable sold listings to help you calculate the fair market value of your home and return it to you by email. 

 

About Chautauqua

Chautauqua County occupies the extreme southwest corner of New York State. The county takes its name from the largest lake in the area, which is twenty miles long and 1,308 feet above sea level. At one end is located Mayville, the county seat and at the other end is the city of Jamestown. 

Outstanding recreational opportunities exist in the county, from hiking and biking on the county's public trail systems, to fishing, boating and canoeing on the lakes, to skiing and snowmobiling. The famous Chautauqua Institution, founded in 1874 and located on Chautauqua Lake, hosts educational and cultural programs each summer. 
-courtesy of the Chautauqua County Government

 

Your Real Estate Advantage

For over twenty years, Real Estate Advantage has been serving buyers, sellers and renters in Chautauqua County. We are a full service brokerage and we also provide property management services. With over 23 agents to assist you, we feel we are one of the most knowledgeable and experienced agencies in the area. We offer full disclosure to buyers and will work at your pace. Please call us today and let us help you start a life of living on Lake Chautauqua! 

Chautauqua Lake Real Estate and Vacation Rentals 800-707-2295 
Serving Chautauqua Lake, Jamestown, Lakewood, Mayville and Bemus Point

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