Q: “A YEAR OR TWO AGO I REFINANCED MY HOME AND HAD AN APPRAISAL FOR THE LOAN. I PLAN TO SELL MY HOUSE THIS SUMMER. SHOULD I PRICE THE HOUSE BASED ON THIS APPRAISAL?”
A: Although a recent loan appraisal may provide a ballpark number, it is always best to ask a real estate professional to give you an up-to-date market analysis. Bank appraisers are instructed to base their market approach (as opposed to the cost approach or income approach) on closed sales of similar properties that have taken place in the last 180 days. Additionally, appraisers must use relevant properties that are within a mile of the subject.
A real estate sales professional will follow these same guidelines, but will also consider what similar properties are actively on the market at the time. A real estate professional’s analysis will give you a well-rounded, up-to-date market analysis of your home.
Q: “WE ARE ABOUT TO CLOSE ON OUR PROPERTY AND WERE TOLD THERE’S A
CLOUD ON THE TITLE. WHAT IS THIS?”
A: Real property is transferred by a deed or other legal document and is recorded in the local municipality. Prior to closing, a title company will search the history of ownership transfers to make sure that past transfers were handled properly and lawfully. This search will ensure that the title is clear of any encumbrances or defects, such as encroachments, wills, judicial proceedings, or vendor liens.
If there are any problems, they are often referred to as a cloud on the title and will need to be removed or “fixed” in order to transfer ownership. An experienced title examiner and real estate professional will be able to take the steps needed to clear title and get you to closing.
Q: “WHAT HAPPENS IF I AM NOT ABLE TO GET out of my home by the closing date?”
A: Ideally, the buyer would like to take possession of their new home on the day of closing as specified in the contract. However, if that is not possible, you could: (1) amend the closing date, provided the buyer agrees to do so, (2) move out on time and stay at a hotel or with family for a short while, or (3) by separate agreement with the buyer, you could “rent back” your house for a period of time. Your real estate professional can provide the guidance and agreement to make this happen.