Sunday, September 25, 2016

Disclose or not? 4 things to consider

When you list your home, should you divulge all of its deepest, darkest secrets? Like the time the water got in through the basement door and ruined your new carpet? Or when your foundation settled, causing some cracks in your walls?

The short and unqualified answer: Yes. You should disclose any problems you have had with your home while you've owned it.

The long answer: Missouri has a few statutes that require homeowners to disclose certain things to potential buyers, such as whether your home was used in the production of methamphetamine or whether children were harmed or endangered in your home. But, in general, Missouri doesn't require sellers to disclose defects. 

Our first reaction may be to hide some of the less positive aspects about our homes. But sellers will find benefits from full disclosure, the first being you would certainly appreciate full disclosure if you were on the home-buying side of the table. Here are other ways disclosures can help:

1. Disclosures show that you are being upfront with the buyer about the condition of the home and that you aren't hiding anything. Problems are inevitable, especially as homes age. It would be unusual for a 30-year-old home to have no issues. 

2. Perhaps more important than the problem may be how you handled it. Keep records of how you addressed the problem, and provide the name of the contractor or service person who completed the work.

3. Providing details about the home's history can help the home inspection go more smoothly. The home inspector can independently verify that the problem was resolved successfully. 

4. The buyer can't claim later — after closing — that he or she didn't know about a problem. You've got it documented.

The information in this blog is not intended as legal advice. Do not consider the blog to be a substitute for obtaining legal advice from a qualified attorney licensed in your state.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Best Time to List Your home in Springfield

The Springfield residential real estate market is still going strong. So you want to give some thought on when you list your home.

According to Redfinto sell for the most money, you should put your home on the market on a Wednesday. To sell the fastest, list on a Thursday. Avoid Sunday, which is the worst day to list.

Most real estate agents will advise you against listing your home right before a holiday weekend. This is probably true for big holidays like Christmas and Thanksgiving. But we have found the more minor holiday weekends popular for home buyers, especially for people moving to the area. Memorial Day weekend, for example, can be a very busy time for showings.

Regardless of when you list your home, you want your home to look its best and be available for showings during the first 48 hours after you list it. That's when your home is likely to generate the most interest.

Most important, as always, is your home's price. If it is in good shape and priced right, it will sell any day of the week!

We would be happy to talk about your home and neighborhood in more detail if you want more information.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Top 5 Reasons People Are Moving

Home sellers in Springfield are enjoying a very strong market right now. Low interest rates are probably driving most of the activity. Here are other top reasons people say they are moving, according to Fannie Mae's National Housing Survey:
  1. Want to be in a different neighborhood (40%)
  2. Need a home with different features (28%)
  3. Need a bigger home (22%)
  4. Want location with better weather, views, and/or lifestyle (19%)
  5. Need to lower cost of living (17%)

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Springfield Home Buyers Ahead of the Curve

Home buyers in Springfield seem to have to wait a little less time than buyers in other places throughout the country to get their mortgage loans. But new federal rules designed to make mortgages easier to understand are adding a few days to the process.

According to Ellie Mae, the average application-to-closing time was 49 days in October, which was the longest time to close a loan since February 2013. Conventional and FHA loans each took 49 days while VA loans took an average of 50.

Robin Schilling, mortgage loan officer at Arvest Bank in Springfield, says the loan process is typically taking 30 to 35 days in Springfield, but lending companies are requesting a lead time of 45 days as they work on a first in, first out basis. Rural development loans, she says, are always subject to longer turnaround times because they have to go to the USDA for review.

The new federal rule, Know Before You Owe, went into effect in October and is adding about three to five business days to the loan-approval process, Schilling says. The rule replaces four disclosure forms with two new onesthe loan estimate and the closing disclosure. The new forms are easier to understand and easier to use. The rule also requires that you get three business days to review your closing disclosure and ask questions before you close on a mortgage.

To supplement the rule, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has created several tools to help you navigate the loan process, including a home loan tool kit.

For more detailed information about loans or to apply for a loan, contact Robin Schilling at 417-885-7312 or 

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

When should you lower your asking price?

Obviously, home sellers want to make as much money as they can when selling their homes. The issue is finding out what price will do that. 

Here are key issues to consider:

Determine the best listing price. A good real estate agent will conduct a comprehensive market survey to assess the best listing price based on sales of similar homes in your area and the agent's expertise. How much you want to make from the sale of your home has nothing to do with the listing price. Market drives the price. See other factors that go into setting the listing price. 

The market price is the price at which a seller and buyer will agree. Your real estate agent should be able to give you a range of value, usually known as market value. Your market price will be somewhere within that range of value. If you choose to list your home at a price higher than the market value range, the house will most likely not sell. 

Be realistic with the timing. Just as the market determines price, the market often dictates how long it will take to sell your home. Your agent can tell you the average number of days comparable homes in your area were on the market before they sold. Homes listed for more than a million dollars are likely to take considerably longer than lower-priced homes. Factor this in before deciding to lower your price. 

Sometimes, you can't wait. If you are being transferred and cannot buy a new home until your current home sells, a proactive strategy on pricing may be in your best interest. Some people say you can't really under-price a home—the market will always correct the price up or down. 

Assess and adjust. Pay attention to how many showings your home is getting. If several buyers have toured your home in the past month and no offers have been made, the price may be too high for the market. 

Good agents request feedback from agents who show or preview your home. They may offer insights into other reasons buyers are walking away from your home. Sometimes, an odor or a water spot on the ceiling may be souring people on your home. In that case, it may be best to take your home off the market, make improvements and then re-list. That way, you reset your days-on-the-market meter and start anew.

Homes are not like cars. Every house is different. Ideally, you'll have an agent who knows the market well, provides good advice about the best listing price and works with you to get the most from the sale of your home.