Frequently Asked Questions
- What is a Home Inspection?A Home Inspection is an inspection of the home conducted by a certified Home Inspector. The Home Inspector completes a thorough examination of the home from the roof down to the foundation and the exterior of the house. They check to see if there are any major or minor problems. The inspector will point out any visible structural or system deficiencies. The inspector will give a full written report to the purchaser once the inspection and report is complete.
- Why should I get Pre Approved for a home loan?"Pre-approval" means you have met with a loan officer, your credit files have been reviewed and the loan officer believes you can readily qualify for a given loan amount with one or more specific mortgage programs. Based on this information, the lender will provide a pre approval letter, which shows your borrowing power. Although not a final loan commitment, the pre approval letter can be shown to listing brokers when bidding on a home. It demonstrates your financial strength and shows that you have the ability to go through with a purchase. This information is important to owners since they do not want to accept an offer that is likely to fail because financing cannot be obtained.
- What can I do to get my home ready to sell?Organize your paperwork: Have a detailed list of all past repairs, updates and upgrades that have been made. Get Ready to De Clutter: Start with one closet and work your way through the entire home. Sort items to toss, keep, sell and donate. Clean: Wash down walls, spruce up paint, and give your home a thorough cleaning. Get an Inspection: Did you think inspections were only for buyers? Having a pre-sale inspection can mean identifying potential problem areas. Start Staging: You want to have your home clean and ready to show. This means having curb appeal with neat landscaping, fresh paint, and flowers. Rearrange your furniture and remove clutter and personal items.
- What is Earnest Money?Earnest money is given by the buyer to the seller when a real estate purchase contract is accepted. The money is a good faith offering to the seller that you will perform on the agreed upon contract.
- What is MLS?MLS is THE MULTIPLE LISTING SERVICE - Your property will be placed into our Multiple Listing Service (MLS). MLS will expose the information on your property to all active/qualified Realtors in the Knox County area. Your property information is available to these Realtors via computer or their smartphone 24 hours a day.
- What is a Lock Box?A LOCK BOX SYSTEM – You have probably already been shown how a lock box is used. If not, please remind us to show you. Each Realtor has an individual code, which is transferred to the Lock Box through an access key pad carried by each Realtor. The Lock Box registers the personal information that is registered to an access card each time it is used. This security feature is important as well as allowing convenient, controlled access to your property.
- Why do I need to have Title Insurance?Before offering to issue a title insurance policy, a title company will do a title search to learn whether there are any problems or limitations with the title. This search is done in an effort to minimize the risks of offering insurance. By minimizing the risks of claims being made, a title insurance company is able to offer its insurance policies for a relatively low, one-time fee. Problems such as deeds, wills, and/or trusts that contain improper vesting and incorrect names, outstanding mortgages, judgments, and tax liens, easements, or incorrect notary acknowledgments are generally found through the title search and usually can be cleared up before the closing on the property.
- Why does the mortgagee sometimes require a Survey of the property?Most mortgage lenders require a current and valid Real Property Report (survey) and proof of zoning by-law compliance from the local municipality, i.e. city, town, Municipal district, etc. The mortgagee (lender) does this to insure initially that the buildings are entirely within the property boundaries and there is no risk that the security for the mortgage will be damaged by the forced removal of the improvements. Most Lenders will now accept a Real Property Report and evidence of municipal compliance or a policy of Title Insurance.
- What is Agency?A REALTOR must disclose to you in writing, who exactly they represent in any real estate deal. A REALTOR may represent you as a buyer or a seller; he or she may also represent both buyer and seller in the same transaction. Your listing or selling REALTOR is, in law, your agent. An agent owes his or her client the duties of utmost care, integrity, confidentiality and loyalty. Make sure you discuss agency with your REALTOR.
- What is the Difference between Sale Price & Assessment?
Here is one of the most commonly asked questions at Assessment Notice time: We recently purchased a property, why is it assessed at a different price then the purchase price?
This could be due to a couple of reason:
First, the motivation of the buyers and sellers can affect sale price. Therefore, when very similar properties are sold during the same time frame, a range of sale prices can result. The market value assessment reflects sales in the middle of this range of prices. As a result, the assessment could be higher or lower than a specific selling price.
Second, market values may have changed between valuation day and the date you made your purchase. For example, in some areas, market values have increased since January 1. If this has happened in your area and you have only recently purchased your property, it is possible that your assessment, while representative of your type of home 3 or 4 months ago, will be lower than your purchase price.
The purpose of the assessment roll is not to reflect a single sale price, but to assess all properties at market value on the same valuation date, so that taxation is fairly and uniformly shared.