For both potential homebuyers and sellers, home appraisals can be a nerve wracking time because if the appraisal comes back substantially higher or lower than the sale price, both parties will have to renegotiate accordingly. But, we're here to break down what what home appraisals consist of, why they matter during closing, and 7 tips for sellers to ensure they can do everything they can to help move the closing process along. Why should you care about home appraisals as

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Every buyer, especially first-timers, dreams of finding their ideal home. There’s nothing quite as disheartening as looking through pages and pages of listings for months, only to realize that not one of them matches up to what you’ve been imagining as your new home, or being outbid time and time again from that all-cash buyer. Sigh. Fortunately, however, not finding any listings you like is far from the end of the world. There are many strategies that you

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At Open Listings, we believe that homebuying doesn't have to be hard -- which means building the knowledge, tools, and support to give everyone the confidence to own their future. Today, we're launching the latest step in creating an easier homebuying process. We're proud to announce that we've partnered with some of the most experienced, well-reviewed, and dedicated mortgage lenders in California and Washington to help Open Listings buyers get closer to their home goals. With an Open Listings Partner

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Here's one of real estate's not-so-dirty secrets: Most of the time, accepting an offer is about so much more than the bottom line. These days, especially in competitive markets, buyers need to do whatever they can to make there offer stand out and feel little less transactional. One way that they can do that is by writing a killer offer letter. Whether you’ve been house hunting for a while or just started looking, read on for some tips and

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Today, we’re excited to share a redesigned Open Listings experience. In 2015, we launched our product as a modern house hunting tool. After over half a billion dollars in home transactions and hundreds of thousands of buyers using our platform, we rebuilt the experience from the ground up to make it even easier to find, buy, and save thousands on your home purchase -- all in one place. With the new Open Listings, we wanted to create an experience

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Millennials’ interest, and their perceived lack of interest in homebuying, has drawn many headlines over the last few years. Most of that attention is rightly focused on student loan payments weighing down this generation in debt. Today's average student debt has ballooned to $37,000. These sky high monthly payments coupled with raising rents and cost of living in metro areas -- hello, avocado toast scandals -- has made it nearly impossible for many millennials to afford a monthly mortgage

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Even if you've never purchased a home before, you've probably heard the term “spring market.” Traditionally, the warmer months were thought of as the only time to get into the real estate market, but that's not always the case. If you're looking to buy a home without all the heat of a potential bidding war, here's 3 main reasons why this winter just might be the best time to buy: 1. Sellers are more motivated Calendars become packed around the

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Before entering the real estate market, one of the most common concepts that buyers and sellers have to wrap their heads around is understanding how real estate commission fees work. Since most agents aren’t hourly or salaried, there can be some confusion as to how - and by whom - the final bill is paid. We've created an explainer for you below so you can feel comfortable knowing what you’re paying for and exactly where your money is

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These days, more and more parents are buying homes for their adult children, providing gift funds, or loaning them money to make the big move. A 2016 survey from Bank of America showed that 19% of millennial homebuyers expected parents to help with their down payment, while 15% expected help with monthly mortgage payments. Read on below to get the scoop on this unusual twist in first-time home buying. We’ll tell you why it’s happening, and if you're

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⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ Breaking down a 5-star homebuying experience With trustworthiness in real estate agents remaining low (per Gallup, only 18% of Americans think real estate agents have high ethical standards), Open Listings wanted to identify ways to increase buyer trust & satisfaction by studying the traits modern homebuyer value in great real estate agents. The methodology The Open Listings team analyzed word trends in over 900 5-star reviews from our ratings platform to understand what buyers want from real estate agents when

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TL;DR With housing prices on the rise, more and more people are trying to find ways to save on real estate expenses, or at least ensure that the bulk of their hard-earned money goes toward the home’s purchase price. This leads many to ask themselves if it’s actually possible to buy a home without a real estate agent. The short answer is: Yes, it’s possible. However, it’s not for everyone. We’ve outlined your homebuying

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Believe it or not, tax season is right around the corner, and if you’ve turned on the news recently, you’ve probably heard that the start of 2018 could bring big changes to the way you file. This is especially true for those thinking of purchasing a home since some of the tax benefits of buying are under intense scrutiny. Analysis from Open Listings shows that the proposed Tax Cuts & Jobs Act will impact most potential homebuyers living

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TL;DR With today's competitive real estate market, serious buyers should have a pre-approval letter and/or proof of funds before starting their home search. So, what are proof of funds? When you make an offer, sellers will require you to submit proof of funds. If you're buying a house with a mortgage, it shows them that you have the cash available for your down payment and closing costs. If you're paying all cash, your proof of funds shows you

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While open houses seem pretty casual, savvy buyers know that checking out a home isn't just about aesthetics or a quick view. In today's hot market, you might not get another look before making an offer. If you're seriously interested in a home, get a feel for the things you can't change: the neighborhood & ongoing home maintenance needs. You should also get critical details such as when offers are due. If you aren’t totally sure about how the

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One of the most frequent conversations we have with homebuyers at Open Listings is about our commission refund of up to 50% and how real estate agent fees work. Time and time again, we’re asked by buyers to debunk this homebuying myth: An agent I spoke to said that sellers pay agent commissions. It’s free for buyers. How can that be? The short of it Many real estate agents will tell homebuyers that their service is free, and

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