Frequently Asked Questions

How do you determine how much my home is worth?

There are a handful of methods that your realtor will use to determine the market value of your home. Market value is the current price range buyers are willing to pay for a home with features similar to yours. The most common method to determining the market value of a home is by completing a comparative market analysis (CMA). A CMA is an analytical evaluation of data from recently sold “comparable” homes over the past 12 months that have similar features as your home- such as number of bedrooms, bathrooms, acreage, etc. This data can be collected by a Realtor® with access to the local MLS. The report data is then interpreted by your realtor to determine the range of value for your home.

What expenses will I encounter when selling a home?

As selling a home is a transfer of ownership, much like anything else sold or bought ,there are expenses associated with the transaction. Expenses, many of which are calculated based on the selling price of the home, such as a Settlement fee to the title company used, title insurance policy premium, wire transfer, county recording fee, municipality and state transfer taxes, realtor commissions and any outstanding property taxes are what you can expect when selling your home. Your realtor at Miedema Realty can provide you with a Seller’s Net Sheet to show you an estimate of your expenses.

What steps should I take when preparing my home for sale?

Have you heard the expression “You never get a second chance to make a first impression”? This is entirely true when it comes to selling your home. We want your potential buyers to be able to envision themselves living in the home and there are several ways to help the home present itself in the best possible light. Making sure clutter is at a minimum, kitchen counters cleared, freshly painting rooms if needed, removing personal items and pictures, or ensuring odors are non-existent are just a handful of things that should be done before listing your home for sale.

What Is P.I.T.I.?

Principal, Interest, Taxes, Insurance. These are the four elements that make up the usual monthly mortgage payment. Principal refers to the part of the monthly payment that reduces the remaining balance of the mortgage. Interest is the fee charged for borrowing money. Taxes and insurance refer to the amounts that are paid into an escrow account each month for property taxes and mortgage and hazard insurance.

What is escrow?

Escrow is a process where a certain agreement or something of value is put in the care of a neutral third party until certain conditions are fulfilled.

What is a Point?

Points are the interest on a mortgage loan that lending institutions charge as extra up-front interest. Bad points are the ones you pay; good points are those paid by the other party. Buyers’ points are tax-deductible, but the sellers’ are not deductible. Make sure you get the point facts before you secure your mortgage.

What is Earnest Money?

In legal terms, it is the money pledged to show the ability and intent to perform a contract. In the real estate transaction, it represents the buyer’s sincerity and eagerness to purchase the home. When the buyer makes a written offer, generally the seller requires a monetary deposit. The deposit is kept in the trust account of the real estate company that is handling the listing-it is not turned over to the seller. It is totally refundable if the offer is not accepted or if some of condition of the contract is not satisfied. If everything proceeds smoothly, the deposit applies in full toward the purchase price at closing. However, problems do arise when the real estate transaction fails to close, for whatever reason.

What is the difference between list and sales prices, and how do they relate to the appraised value?

The list price is the advertised price-a rough estimate of what the seller would like to get for the home. Be aware that sellers can set the list price higher or lower than what they are expecting to get, so compare prices in the area to see how the particular listing measures up. The sales price is the actual price the buyer pays for the home. And the appraisal value is the estimated worth of a property determined by a certified appraiser, based on criteria such as the property’s condition and comparable sales.

How do I Overcome Credit Barriers?

Mortgage lenders approve based on the borrower’s income, assets, liabilities, employment history, and credit history. It used to be that a poor credit history or a high debt-to-income ratio made it almost impossible to buy a home. The 1996 Home Mortgage Disclosure Act cited credit history as the number one reason for denying a mortgage application. More options are available today than ever before for people with less-than-perfect credit.