When you’re touring a home, you only see a property at its best. When organized, clean, and expertly staged, many homes can seem picture perfect. But what you’re not seeing? The past flooding, the repeated problems with plumbing and the rat infestation? Those are the things that will cost you in the end. That’s where a seller’s disclosure form comes in. Designed to give you insights into a home’s defects -- both past and present

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When you find that perfect home, you’ll have more than just an offer price to hone in on. Before you can actually move in, you’ll also need to figure out your earnest money deposit as a part of your offer. It sounds confusing, but an earnest money deposit (often just called an EMD the real estate industry) is a move of good faith and essentially acts as a down payment on your down payment. You offer it to

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If you're looking to buy a home, you probably know that you'll need to get a mortgage. But, in order to get a mortgage, at the very least, you'll need to get pre-qualified. However, what you may not know, is that there are actually more options beyond that with mortgage pre-approval and even pre-underwriting. If you’re confused about what these terms mean and what the differences between them are, you’re in luck. We’ve laid out each one

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Special thanks to the 100+ applicants we got for our scholarship this past semester and we are thrilled to be able to award a young college student with the financial support they need to pursue their career dreams! This semester was especially difficult to choose a winner, we had many worthy applicants and it's awesome to see such enthusiasm from young students striving to reach their dreams, no matter what obstacles lie ahead. At Open Listings, we really pride ourselves

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For many first-time buyers, the process of buying a house can seem overwhelming. After all, how do you even know where to start, much less how to get from taking the first step to submitting a winning offer on a home? If you’ve found yourself asking similar questions recently, we’ve got your back. Below is our comprehensive list of what you need to be prepared for the process of buying a house: 1. Get your financials in order

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💡 Did you know that when it comes to buying a home, you actually have options? In fact, you typically have three of them: The traditional route First, you can go with a traditional real estate agent. This is a real estate agent who will meet you, find and send you listings they think you'll like, show you the properties, and walk you through the closing process. In exchange, they'll typically receive a commission of anywhere from 2-3% of the sales

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Some real estate jargon can be hard to pin down, like the concept of home equity. Most people know it’s a good thing to have, but when it comes time for the actual definition, well...That’s when things start to get a little murky. Sound all-too-familiar to you? We’ve taken the liberty of breaking down home equity to its simplest terms. Read on below to learn what it is, what it’s used for, and how to

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Breaking it down: Most real estate agents operate on a commission-based payment model. While traditional agents require a commission of 5 to 7% of the home’s sales price, low commission real estate agents charge a fraction of that -- as much as half. What is a real estate agent commission fee? In most cases, unlike buying a product at the store or online, you won’t pay a flat-fee for your realtor up front. You won’t even pay

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If you’re the DIY type, or you want the chance at saving cash on your home purchase, forgoing a traditional real estate agent may be the way to do it. Why buy a home without a realtor? To be clear, buyers don’t pay their realtors directly. Sellers pay a 6% commission (of the home’s total sales price) to their own realtor, half of which ultimately goes to the buyer’s agent. In theory, a seller -- and

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As a buyer, looking at property listing descriptions can feel like reading a foreign language. Real estate agents use buzzwords to try and present the properties they’re selling in the best possible light. However, for buyers, it can be hard to tell what those terms actually mean, and, by extension, what you’d actually be getting into if you purchased the home. Luckily, we've compiled a list of the most common listing terms so that you will know what

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You probably know that buying a home comes along with the need for a homeowner’s insurance policy. However, many of us don’t know much beyond that when it comes to protecting our property. If you need a little guidance when it comes to the ins and outs of homeowners insurance, you’ve come to the right place. Below is an explanation of what you need to know about your eventual policy, starting with the basics: So, what is

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The mortgage industry has changed rapidly -- and with it, the requirements of homebuying. These days, buying a home is easier than you might think, and it’s an option for more people than the old rules coming out of the 2008 recession might suggest. The reality is that there are a lot of confusing information out there when it comes to home affordability. So, we’ve asked industry experts to tell us the truth about the biggest misconceptions they’

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Locking down a good mortgage rate is just one important aspect of home affordability. If you’ve been thinking about buying a home, you may be wondering what affects mortgage interest rates & what climbing rates mean for you. Mortgage rates have been on the rise, and they will likely continue to do so. As of June 2018, the average mortgage interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate loan is 4.76%, but it won’t stay that way forever. We’

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Buying an investment property is a huge step in growing financially. For one, you have the chance to earn passive income. For another, it’s an opportunity to diversify your assets. That said, it’s also a huge responsibility, both personally and financially. If you’re going to take this step, you want to make sure that you’re well-prepared for what’s to come. So, if you’re thinking about buying an investment property, you’ve come to the

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Once your offer finally gets accepted, one of the first things you’ll do is submit an escrow deposit. This money -- your “good faith” deposit -- helps show the seller that you’re serious about buying the home. If the home closes successfully, that money is applied to your downpayment. However, if the deal falls through, there is a chance that you could lose out on thousands of dollars. With that in mind, many buyers want to know what

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