Jay Falone - RE/MAX Executive Realty


The home buying process can be long and daunting. From trying to find the right home to facing rejected offers, it can seem endless. Eventually, you will find the right home and get that offer accepted. Now you must face the next phase what’s called “closing” on a home. What exactly happens at the closing table can vary based on your own situation, but the important thing to know is that the closing table is where the deal is sealed and signed. The home of your dreams will finally be yours!


Find The Location


The location of the closing will be determined beforehand. It’s usually at a lawyer’s office but it could be at a realtor’s office. The attorney who has been chosen will be noted on the closing documents you receive before you get there.   


Get Ready To Write Large Checks


When you’re closing on a home, this is the time that the downpayment is expected along with all of the lawyer’s fees, taxes, commissions, assessments, and other agreements. This money should be presented at the time of closing and there’s no wiggle room on the timing, so be sure you have the cash handy in your account. Often, a bank check will be required to pay these fees along with the downpayment. Your lender will give a a detailed report of the fees that are required before you even head to the closing table, so you’ll have time to prepare.


Do Some Hand Stretches


There will be plenty of pens available at the closing. You’ll be there for awhile signing many important documents, so bring some water. If you don’t have a safe or file folders, you’ll want to get them as well. Depending on how your closing is conducted, a lawyer or other authorized person will be present to explain the legal jargon to you for every piece of paper that you’re signing. Every document that you sign should be saved for your reference and safe keeping. The proof of insurance and the deed to your property are definitely documents that you’ll want to have handy for a long time to come. Your home is one of the largest purchases that you’ll ever make in your lifetime, so be sure to keep that paperwork in order. 


After Closing Ends


After all of the papers are signed and the walkthrough of the home is complete, you’re a homeowner! In most cases, you’ll be able to call the home your own immediately. In some special cases, there are post-closing agreements that include repairs that couldn’t be done ahead of time, or other transactions that the seller may have agreed with you on at an earlier date. 


In most cases, everything will be taken care of right at the closing table. One of the most exciting moments is when the keys are handed over to you! After a long time of searching, many phone calls, and a lot of work, now you can start putting that elbow grease into your home!


If you encounter home selling challenges, there is no need to worry. In fact, if you know how to approach potential house selling hurdles, you may be better equipped than others to enjoy a seamless property selling experience.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you hone your approach to home selling challenges.

1. Remain Calm

A home selling challenge may seem like the end of the world. But it is important to remember that home sellers like yourself likely have faced similar problems in the past. And as such, there is probably a viable solution to address any home selling challenge, at any time.

When a home selling challenge presents itself, it often helps to take a deep breath. Then, you should try to remain calm, cool and collected and approach the challenge from an objective point of view. By doing so, you may be able to find a way to resolve this challenge in no time at all.

2. Be Persistent

Let's face it – no one said selling a house would be easy. But for those who are persistent, even the toughest home selling challenges can be overcome.

If you approach a home selling challenge with persistence, you'll be ready to explore every potential solution to address this issue. As a result, you may be able to quickly identify the right solutions to various home selling challenges and move one step closer to achieving your property selling goals.

3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent

For those who face a home selling challenge, it generally is a good idea to seek out expert guidance. Fortunately, real estate agents are available in cities and towns nationwide, and these housing market professionals are happy to help you address any home selling challenges head-on.

Typically, a real estate agent offers plenty of support throughout the property selling journey. He or she first will learn about your home selling goals and provide a personalized home selling strategy. Next, a real estate agent will promote your residence to the right groups of prospective buyers. And if you receive an offer to purchase your home, a real estate agent will help you analyze this proposal and decide whether to accept, reject or counter it.

A real estate agent is prepared to respond to any concerns or questions that you may have during the home selling process too. If you are unsure about how to price your home, for example, a real estate agent can offer housing market data to help you establish a competitive initial asking price. Or, if you face a time crunch to sell your residence, a real estate agent will do everything possible to help you sell your house as quickly as possible.

There is no reason to let home selling challenges get the best of you after you list your residence. Thanks to the aforementioned tips, however, you can boost your home selling confidence and determine the best course of action to resolve any house selling challenges.


After living in a small apartment or crowded house, you might be dreaming of having more space, a bigger closet, or just one more bathroom to ease the clutter and closeness. When is a larger home the answer? Before making the leap to more square footage, consider all the factors that fill the bill. If upsizing is the right move, embrace it with confidence.

Household size

If you intend to grow your household by adding children, inviting more housemates into your tribe, having lots of guests, or bringing in aging parents, you may need a larger home. Depending on the scenario, square footage and the number of rooms aren’t the only considerations. Homes designed for families with children would not necessarily be the best alternative for housing aging parents or as shared space for working adults. 

Some areas to consider are:

  • Stairs: with small children, elderly adults, or residents with disabilities, a home with stairs may not be as useful as a single-story home. Due to property-size constraints, larger homes with additional bedrooms and bathrooms tend to be multi-storied structures. While offering more space, the challenge of maneuvering stairs might not be the right choice. Pay special attention to the number of steps required to enter or leave a home as well. For some people, negotiating just two or three steps up to the front porch might be problematic. Work with your agent to determine what configuration meets the needs of your unique household.

  • Bathroom arrangements: Homes designed for nuclear families often have joint bathroom arrangements just as a Jack and Jill configuration with a shared bathroom between two bedrooms, or a shared hallway bathroom. If en suite baths better serve your household, offering more privacy to housemates, let your agent know that’s what you need.

  • Mobility: Homes for aging parents or members requiring assistive aids such as wheelchairs or walkers, need wider doorways and halls, direct access entries with fewer sharp corners to maneuver and baths with accessible fixtures. Older homes tend to have narrower doors and hallways. Even if older adults do not need such aids presently, they may in the future.

  • Social spaces: Do you need a family room separate from a more formal entertainment area? Does your household require more private or quiet spaces? Are you likely to entertain large groups of adults? Children? Before buying based on size alone, consider how the shared spaces will be used. For example, some blended households may have older teens and young adults as well as toddlers and preschoolers. Having more than one social space allows family members to socialize in an age-appropriate space without being confined to their rooms. 

  • Entertaining: For some households, the number and size of bedrooms is less important than the space available for you to host dinner parties, game nights, or large gatherings. Let your agent know if entertainment space is your priority so that the homes you view include open-concept areas conducive to sizable gatherings.

  • Workspace: With more folks working from home now, your need for more space might include the need for single or multiple office options. Some people work well within hearing of the household noise and bustle while others need a quiet retreat. Discussing these differing work styles ahead of making your purchase ensures that everyone’s needs are addressed.

Whatever “home” looks like to you; your agent is ready to help you find it. Make one list of everything that your household needs and another of the additional items you want and share it with your realtor.


Image by Irina from Unsplash

Whether you have young pets or older ones, there are certain household hazards to be aware of. Puppies and kittens can get into trouble while exploring different parts of your home out of curiosity. Adult dogs and cats can also end up getting hurt or sick from common household dangers for pets. Keep the following tips in mind to make your home as safe as possible for your pets.

Food Hazards

Some types of foods are toxic to dogs, cats or both. Chocolate, grapes, raisins, onions, garlic and macadamia nuts are among the foods that can make pets, especially dogs, seriously ill. You should store these foods out of your pet’s reach, and immediately pick up any that falls on the floor before your pet can get it.

Toxic Plants

Certain household plants and flowers can cause potentially life-threatening illnesses in dogs and cats if they ingest them. For example, lilies, amaryllis, daffodils, tulips and hyacinths are considered toxic to cats. For dogs, azaleas, irises, sago palms, begonias and philodendrons are among the plants that are considered toxic to dogs. You should avoid having these types of plants inside your home to lower the risk of your pet ingesting them. If you do have any plants that are toxic, you should keep them in an area that your pets can’t get to, such as high on a shelf or in a closed-off room.

Medications and Cleaning Products

Medications and cleaning products can make pets dangerously ill if they swallow or ingest them. You should store these items in cabinets that your pets can’t get into. Consider installing childproof latches on cabinets to prevent your pets from being able to open them.

Wires and Cords

These items can become strangulation hazards in your home, especially when you have curious pets around. Wires and cords also put pets at risk of electrical shock if they chew on them or play with them. Hide cords and wires out of reach of your pets, and use childproof window blind products to prevent your pets from playing with these types of cords.

String and Small Items

Dogs and cats can end up with serious injuries if they swallow pieces of string or small items, such as buttons. This can happen if they chew on clothes or get into sewing supplies. You can reduce this risk by keeping clothing items, shoes and craft supplies stored away in an area that your pets can’t reach. You should also check your rugs and furniture for strings or small items that might have fallen off clothes or other objects before your pets find them.


“Short sales” may have one of the most deceiving names in real estate. Any client who is undertaking the purchase of a short sale property will ask, “Why is this taking so long?” Short sales generally happen due to lapsed payments on a mortgage. In the short sale, the owners take a loss on the property, but it saves them from being foreclosed on by the bank. Many of these sales are circumstantial by divorce, or a sudden change in job. The seller asks the bank to take less money than the amount owed on the house in a short sale transaction. 


If You’re Buying A Short Sale Property


If you have made an offer and the seller accepts it, your dealings are far from over in a short sale. The seller’s bank needs to approve the sale. Since the bank is losing money in the deal, this is where the hold up can be in the entire transaction.


The First Step


The seller’s bank must review the short sale package first. The seller needs to submit a complete picture of their finances to the lender. The seller’s credit score will also be reviewed. A bank would not approve a short sale if, let’s say, the seller happened to have a lot of extra cash just sitting in a bank account. The lender needs to protect themselves.


The listing agent should be on top of all of the paperwork that should be done in order to have the transaction approved. As a buyer, you’ll appreciate a good short sale listing agent. 


Make Sure Everything Is In Order


There’s a lot of paperwork to sign in order to get a house. There’s even more paperwork to sign in order to secure the purchase of a short sale. If just one page of the documents are missing or one signature is left unsigned, the entire process can be slowed down even more. As a buyer, you should confirm that all the required documents have been signed and received. 


Another problem that can occur is that documents quickly become outdated. Bank and other financial statements are a good example of this. By the time paperwork is ready to go through the lender, last month’s bank statement could be completely outdated. The lender will then need an updated statement, holding up the process even more. The seller and agent need to be ready for these circumstances. The faster the lender is responded to, the smoother the process will go.          

 

Remember You’re Working With Two Banks


When you’re purchasing a home that’s a short sale, you’ll need to deal with two banks- your lender and the bank handling the short sale. Be mindful of the timelines that each bank has. If you aren’t, you could be approved hours too late to buy the property, leaving you and the seller to start from scratch. 


Buying a short sale is risky because there is always a greater chance the sale will fall through or succumb to foreclosure due to some kind of circumstances beyond the buyer or the seller’s control. If you have the right realtors on both sides of the table, the process of buying a short sale should go as smoothly as can be expected.