Compare Listings

Frequently Asked Questions

Select one of the frequently asked questions below to learn more about Savvy Realty DFW, buying residential real estate, and selling residential real estate. Please contact us if you have any additional questions that are not answered in this section. You can submit a questions through on contact form by clicking here, or you can call our office at (972) 727-2621. We look forward to answering your questions!

For Buyers

Should I talk to a lender before looking at homes?

In one word… YES!  Listed below are the top 4 reasons why getting pre-approved is in your best interest.

  1. Loan Limit: You may have an idea what that number is but the number one way to sour your house hunting experience is to look at homes above what you can afford.
  2. Closing costs: Many buyers do not understand the difference between down payment, pre-paid items and escrow accounts. Talking with a lender will help clarify these differences AND give you an estimated amount of money you will need to close on the loan.
  3. Seller requirement: Any agent that is working with the seller knows that accepting a contract from any buyer without knowing if the buyer can actually buy the home is not working in their client’s best interest.  Think of it this way, if YOU were the seller, would you want to know if the buyer had double checked with a lender to make sure that buyer could actually afford your home?  Of course you would!  Skipping this step is just not an option.
  4. Unknown Credit Problems: With the increase in identity theft, it’s more important than ever to have your credit report reviewed. If something is wrong on your report or something you didn’t even know about was reported, getting the issue resolved will help you obtain a mortgage and help your interest rate be lower.

You may also want to do a little research yourself to help you understand what you can afford.  Listed below are a few mortgage calculators and excellent resources that explain the entire process.

Where can I find a rent-to-own property?

In Texas, any lease-purchase or rent-to-own that is greater than 180 days is very tricky and must be handled by a lawyer.  However, most lawyers will not do these at all because of the multitude of legal requirements and potential liability.  If an agent claims they will find you a property with these type of terms be sure and consult a real estate attorney to do the paperwork as a real estate agent can NOT practice law.

How much do I owe you if you help me buy a home?

In most cases, the seller pays the buyer’s agent his/her fee.  If that is not the case, the agent MUST tell you this UPFRONT.  Having an unknown fee added by a realtor at closing is not only unethical, it’s illegal!

Also, agents do not get paid a dime unless a home closes.  Realtors work totally on a contingency basis meaning that entire time they are helping you search for a home or help you get a mortgage or provide you advice, all of that is without pay.  Only at closing will an agent receive any kind of money.

Should I buy another home before selling my current one?

Depends.  There is no concrete answer that fits for everyone.  It’s really best to look at the pros and cons to determine what is best for you in your unique situation.

  • Buying a home before selling your current home – There are many benefits of buying first but even in this scenario you have two options.1) Buy the new home with no contingency. If you choose this route and you have a mortgage, you must qualify for both the new mortgage and the current mortgage at the same time. This can be very difficult for most people.  However, if you can do this, some of the benefits you will have are:  Moving once (instead of a double move), You are not rushed to find a home in a certain time frame, and, since you don’t have to time the two closings you have more leeway with your price on your home.2) Buy the new home contingent on your home selling and closing. The option to do this really depends on the market and the seller.  If the market is extremely hot, the majority of sellers will not accept a contingency.  The seller does not want to take the risk that your home will not sell thus meaning you can’t get a loan and close on this house.  Also, even if you get the seller to accept your contingent offer a non-contingent buyer could use the “kick-out” clause and bump you out.  Not only would you lose the house you would lose any money (inspections, appraisal, etc.) that you have spent.
  • Selling your home before buying a new home – No one can you exactly how long it will take to sell your home. Even in a hot market the time to sell is just unpredictable.  By sell first you are in an ideal position to negotiate on your new home because you have no contingency.  However, one risk of doing this scenario is not having a place to live!  Maybe the buyers of your home will let you do a “lease-back” which means you retain possession of your current home for a certain amount of time after closing.  Typically, you would pay the new buyers daily PITI (principle, interest, taxes, and insurance).  This will probably be higher than what your current mortgage payment is but it’s cheaper than a double move!

Do you have other professionals you can recommend to me?

Top agents will work with top professionals.  Of course you can use anyone you want to but if you need a referral to a lender, tradesman, title office, real estate attorney, insurance company, contractor, inspector, or any other needed person during the process, we have someone for you to call.  We have these top connections because we work with these people each and every day and know the people recommended know what type of service is expected in order to stay on our list!  Also, when using someone we recommend, it can greatly improve the probability of a smooth real estate purchase.

How many homes have YOU (not your company) sold?

The number is changing daily but we are nearing 1000 homes.  The average agent sells about 11 homes per year and has been in business for less than 10 years.  We have been selling residential homes for 20 years!  Our experience will help YOU get what YOU need and want.  Some agents will quote a number but instead of it reflecting homes that they have actually sold, they quote the number of homes the company has sold.  Another twist that agents have used is quoting a number that includes homes sold while working for a relocation company, a foreclosure company or a builder.  These type of sales are just not the same as working with individual sellers.  The 1000 homes we reference are individual owners just like you.

My wife’s uncle’s sister-in-law’s daughter just got her license. Maybe I should let her help be my agent.

A real estate transaction is one of the biggest financial decisions you will make in your life.  Because of this, picking an experienced real estate agent is extremely important.  Since it’s very easy to obtain a real estate license, new agents are constantly obtaining a real estate license.  In fact, about 9000 new agents are licensed every year just in Texas.  Staying in the business and being successful is what separates the “newbies” from the top producers.  The average agent sales just 11 homes and a large percentage of agents only stay in the business for a few years.   So, would you rather work with an agent that has sold just a handful of homes or with an agent that has sold almost 1000 homes and seen the good, the bad and the ugly in the real estate market?

Can you provide testimonials from past sellers whose home you sold?

Third party testimonials can say a lot of the service of a realtor.  Check places like Zillow, Realtor.com or Google to see posted reviews or look them up on Facebook.  (Remember that sometimes the information, such as which homes have been sold, are not always 100% accurate because the information provided by these sites only goes so many years back.)

What are the top 5 things real estate agents hate?

A few years ago a real estate survey asked people if they had ever considered being a real estate agent.  Amazingly, 98% of the people asked said “yes”.  When I asked why, the answers included statements about the job being easy or how much they enjoyed looking at houses.  To be honest, those were two of my reasons as well.  However, I quickly learned that being a real estate agent is hard and very stressful.  Just like in any job, there are things that agents just hate.

  1. “I don’t want to bother my agent” Buyers often call the listing agent to see a home because they just don’t want to inconvenience their agent.  That comment just baffles me.  It seems that consumers think real estate agents just get paid to show homes.  If you have an agent, call YOUR agent.  It’s your right to “bother” your agent because that is exactly why you hired him/her.  If your agent appears bothered, then finding another agent to commit to might be in your best interest.
  2. “Yes, I have an agent but I still want to see the home and since you are the listing agent you should show it to me.” Showing a home the agent has listed to a buyer that has agent is really a conflict in interest.  Anything you say should be passed on to the seller because that agent represents the seller and NOT you.  It’s in YOUR best interest to view any home you are considering with YOUR agent.
  3. “Zillow says the house I want to buy is not worth that price” Did you know that the “Zestimate” for the CEO of Zillow was 40k off?  Zillow even has issued statements regarding the “Zestimates” saying that the median error rate is 7.9 percent.  Relying on a company that has never seen the house or the area to give an accurate price is just not realistic.
  4. “The tax appraisal is lower than the seller’s asking price.” Tax assessed value is not the same as market value for several reasons.  Sometimes the assessed value is higher than what a home can be sold for but in MOST cases it’s the other way around.  Often the discrepancy is due to condition but not always.  Tax assessed value is used by the taxing authority to calculate what the yearly taxes are based on the tax rate.  This really has no impact on how much a home is worth.  Some home owners challenge the tax value every year in order to keep their taxes as low as possible while other just don’t pay attention.
  5. “I found a home I want to see but I’m only available at 2:15 today.” A top agent is a professional and should be treated as one. We have schedules, lives and family just like everyone else so to expect any agent to totally adjust their entire schedule to accommodate you or to just drop everything and show a house to you at a moment’s notice isn’t really fair. The most respectful way to work with any agent is to schedule a time that works for BOTH of you.

How often do you communicate with your clients?

The frequency and methods of communication will vary from agent to agent and from client to client.  Some clients need/want to be in constant contact while others really don’t.  The most important part of communication is really availability.  No one can be available 24/7 BUT reaching your agent when you need them is extremely important.  Agents that turn off their phones on weekends or after 6pm and that may sound ok in the beginning, when you need your agent or another agent needs to reach them, this lack of availability DOES cause problems.  We can be reached by text, email, phone or even Facebook!  We understand that this purchase is likely the biggest financial decision of your life so we will do everything possible to be available for you.

How long have you been Selling RESIDENTIAL Real Estate and are you full-time?

Selling real estate is similar to most professional jobs in that the majority of the knowledge you need is learned on-the-job. That’s why working with an agent with a significant amount of experience is so important.   However, all experience is not created equal.  Some agents claim to have sold 100’s or 1000’s of homes but instead of working with individual home owners, these agents represented relocation companies, builders or a corporation.  While they do technically have experience, working with this type of business is just not the same as working with individuals.  Also, picking an agent that works full-time is important for a few reasons.  First, if the agent only works part-time then not only could you have problems reaching the agent other agents may have difficultly as well.  If an agent is not available, the service level the agent can provide is limited.  Also, if an agent is not full-time and only does this as a side business, will that agent be as dedicated to making sure your home closes as the agent that has this as the only means of income?  Besides all of this, simply the number of years an agent has worked in the industry is important.  The more years of experience an agent has, the more types of market conditions an agent has experienced.  We have been selling residential real estate in the Dallas area for over 20 years.  We have seen the good, the bad and the ugly in real estate.  It’s what we do and we love it!

Will I save money if I just use the agent who listed the home to help me buy it?

While this may be possible it’s unlikely because the listing agent is working for the seller and trying to get the top dollar for their client.  A work around is when the broker appoints an agent to work with the buyer and the seller as an intermediary.  In this case the agent agrees to treat all parties impartially and fairly but is limited in what can be said and done.  Since a seller is paying the fee, the listing agent may or may not give any of the money to you, the buyer.  And, in fact, since you will never see the listing agreement you may not even know if the agent reduced his/her fee or not. In the majority of cases you have more to lose than gain by working directly with the listing agent.

How do you negotiate our requests from inspections?

Once the initial contract terms are negotiated you will have an inspection.  The inspectors job is to nit-pick the house and find as many problems as possible.  Some of these issues need to be addressed immediately, some need to be addressed at some point, some can just be ignored and some items an inspector points out are really not issues.  (Often an inspector cannot determine how to work a sprinkler system or find the required GFI plugs because they are limited by what they can do.  For example, if a sprinkler system is unplugged they cannot plug it in to determine if it works.  They also cannot move items so if the seller has left items in front of the attic opening or the GFI plug for the garage freezer, the inspector cannot move those items.)  An agents job is to help you determine what items the seller really needs to fix.  Asking for every item on the inspection report to be repaired/replaced is just not realistic.  Even in a practically new home there WILL be issues and since codes are constantly changing, there will always be something to repair or update.  It’s just part of owning a home.

How is the neighborhood/area?

Many buyers ask questions regarding the neighborhood and area. As a licensed realtor, there are rule against steering and providing personal insight into specific areas or neighborhoods. This doesn’t mean that I can’t point you in the right direction so you can use the facts to make your own decision. Listed below are a few websites that will provide information that will come in handy when considering a new home and a new neighborhood.

Texas Department of Public Safety – Many websites claim to have information on registered sex offenders however they may not be as accurate as searching on the official Texas site. This site also reports statistics for crime in Texas.
Spot Crime – Spotcrime is one of the most popular crime tracking sites. All you need to do is enter an address and Spotcrime uses data it’s gathered from law enforcement agencies, news reports and tips to plot crimes out on a map. There is no charge to access the crime maps but the site will ask you to register. Once registered the site can alert you to criminal activity in the area you request.
City Data – This powerful website gives you information on just about everything. You can see median household income, population, building permits and a variety of other data. The site lets you search by City, School, Neighborhood or other criteria so you can find exactly the data you want for the area you are considering.

How are the schools?

There is no doubt that schools will impact property values.  However, just like questions regarding the neighborhood there is only so much information we can provide. Several websites rank and review schools but we have found that Great Schools is one of the better resources.  Also, visiting the district’s website will answer a lot of questions you might have.

What are the average utility bills?

Even though everyone prefers to have their home at different temperatures, knowing approximately what you could expect is important.  The seller should be willing to provide you with utility bills or, in some cases, the utility company may provide you with an average over the last 12 months.

When will the highway be complete or how long does it take to get to downtown Dallas from here?

Traffic and road construction will always be part of the DFW area. It seems there everywhere you go some road is being built or repaired. For the most accurate information on roads and highways, consult these websites.

Collin County Public Information Office

Collin County GIS Maps

TX Department of Transportation

DFW Traffic Information

Department of Transportation – Dallas District

How many homes should I look at before I decide on a home?

Depends.  Some buyers look at only a few while others look at 15 or more.  A lot will depend on how clear you are in what you want.  If you know you want a home under 400k in West Plano with a three car garage, pool, 5 bedrooms and the home is on an oversized lot your list of homes will be much shorter than the person who isn’t really sure what they want.

How much should I offer the sellers?

Before answering the question, we need to look at the market and see how the house is priced compared to others that have sold.  This can give you a technical number but other factors often play in to this decision such as the seller receiving multiple offers, your time frame, how unique the property is for your situation and how much you want that particular home. You may also want to research how the market is doing in general.  The best two sources are the Market Statistics by the MLS and Market Overview by Texas A&M Real Estate Center.

What's the difference between earnest money and option fee?

Earnest money is the deposit a buyer gives to the title company as a show of good faith.  The amount is usually about 1-2% of the purchase price.  If you close on the house, this money will be put towards your closing expenses.  If you do not close and you cancel the contract you MAY get the money back BUT this will depend on a lot of factors such as when you terminated and for what reason.  An Option fee is generally $100-$500 and is paid directly to the seller for the option to terminate the real estate contract in a set amount of time. Typically you have between 5-15 days to inspector the property and do your due diligence to make sure this is the property you want.  This money is non-refundable no matter what.

Does the seller have to respond to my offer by a certain time?

No. The amount of time the seller takes to respond depends on how long the house has been on the market, if they have received multiple offers, how “strong” your offer is and even the availability of the seller and the seller’s agent.  Our job is talk with the other agent so we can understand the seller’s position and urgency.  If there are multiple offers, we try to understand what the “hot” buttons are for the seller and use that information to make your offer stand out from the rest.

My offer was accepted. Now what?

Congratulations!  You are one step closer to owning your new home, however, there are many steps to take between acceptance and closing.  Inspections, appraisals, survey, title research, loan approval, HOA documents, and more all will need to be completed by closing.  Some of this is done by you and some by the other parties involved.  We know there are a lot of steps so to help you out we have a step by step checklist that we give you when your offer is accepted.

Do I have the option to have any inspections?

When buying a home, you have the option to perform several types of inspections.  The purchase offer you write can be contingent upon a satisfactory home inspection, pest inspection, chimney inspection, radon test, and many other inspections.  In most cases, it’s recommended that when buying a home, you at the bare minimum have a home inspection. There are home inspection findings that are more common than others, however, no two homes are the same so it’s a great idea to get the home inspected.

Do I need to do a final walk-through?

As a buyer, you have the option to perform a final walk-through.  Is a final walk through a requirement?   NO.  Is a final walk through necessary?  YES.  Generally when buying a home several weeks go by between when you last walked through your home.  Lots of things can change during that time.  When doing a final walk through a few things you should check is that furnace is working, the toilets are flushing properly, and there is hot water.

When is the closing date?

When buying a home, the excitement level is extremely high.  It’s important to understand that the closing date in the purchase offer is a target and not a guarantee.  Before you hire the movers and take time off from work, know that the closing date in the contract isn’t necessarily the date you will own your new home.  Many buyers will ask their Realtor this question, however, it isn’t up to the Realtors when a closing will be.  The attorney’s are the ones who have to set the closing date and time.

Additional resources:

For Sellers

How is the real estate market right now?

One frequently asked question is related to the how the local real estate market is doing. Most agents will simple say “great” but by sharing market indicators that will explain the condition of the market you will get a better understanding of what is happening.. The two most important indicators are Days on Market and Months of Inventory. Days on Market indicate how quickly homes receive a contract after a home is listed for sale. Looking at the broad market will give you an overall sense of the entire area but to really see how your specific market looks, you will want to see statistics for homes that are similar in price and area.

Months of Inventory – This is a statistic that measures how many homes are selling against the current number of homes on the market. For example, if 60,000 homes sold in the last year then 60,000/12 = 5000 homes sold per month. So, if there are currently 9,900 homes for sale, we divide the 9,900 by 5000 which gives us a number of 1.98. This is the number of months it would take to sell all of the homes on the market, if nothing else was put up for sale and buyers chose to purchase every remaining home. Around six months of inventory is largely considered a balanced market where on average it takes a few months to sell a home depending on their condition/pricing/desirability. When you start seeing inventory rise higher than nine months it indicates a strong buyer’s market. When months of inventory drops below 3 it is consider a strong seller’s market. Just as Days on Market you can look at this statistic in a broad sense, or in a much more focused area say a county or city AND a certain type of home. For example, the market may have less than 3 months of inventory in a city for homes under 250K and 7 months of inventory for homes over 500K. Those two sellers (and all the target buyers for those two homes) will have distinctly different experiences.

Other indicators a top agent will consider are number of closed transactions year-over-year for any given month, average sales price and average list-to-sale price ratios.

When is the best time to sell my home?

Statistically speaking, more homes sell in the spring than any other time of the year. However, as you can see in this graph, homes sell all year long. In the spring, more homes are sold but there are also more homes on the market meaning sellers have additional competition. So, in some cases, selling a home during the slower months actually may be better than waiting until the spring because of the lower competition and because there are always serious buyers looking for a home.

faq-seller-1

What should I disclose to potential buyers?

When selling a home, you will be better off disclosing known defects to potential buyers upfront. This means disclosing anything you are aware of that is wrong with your roof, appliances or your home in general. Also, whenever possible, fixing any of these defects before going on the market is usually best. By either disclosing or repairing any known defects can help avoid potential issues and/or lawsuits once your home is under contract, after inspections, and even years after you have sold your home.

Why is the tax assessed value different than what my home is worth?

Tax assessed value is not the same as market value for several reasons.

First and foremost, assessments are levied based on “mass appraisal techniques” designed to appraise entire neighborhoods in an attempt to tax all home owners in a fair and equitable manner. Those techniques are not designed to establish value of a specific property; hence they may be off in a high or low at any point in time.

These techniques rely on data over the prior 6 months of when the assessments are made and they strictly use historical data. The current market conditions like months’ inventory, availability and cost of financing, new construction, and other influences are not factored into their method. When market conditions change rapidly, it can take a couple of cycles for the assessor data to catch up.

Another contributor that can be very significant is condition. The assessor doesn’t know the inside of your home. Fully updated with all the latest and greatest? Or is it original and well maintained? Distressed? They have no idea unless you tell them with photographs. So they aim for the average of the neighborhood which may or may not reflect your homes condition.

Some homeowners challenge their taxes every year while others do not. This can affect a properties assessment but has nothing to do with its value.

These appraisal methods at time have systemic errors that can affect all properties with certain features. For example, historically and generally speaking homes with pools are assessed lower than what the market believes they are worth based on sales prices. Same goes for 3 car garages in some areas. Location (both good and bad) is accounted for in a broad sense but is not always correct as we’ve seen both high and low assumptions being made there. The effect of a property backing up to a busy street is completely different for a 150K home than it is a 750K home. If they don’t have homes of similar locations to use in the assessment, an adjustment is still made but it may or may not be accurate.

One final contributor to the disparity between the values is how long the owner has owned the home. If the home sold a couple of years ago the assessor will be closer to the true number as that home would have been assessed very accurately the year after it was sold. They know the sales price so any errors in the mass appraisal models will have only been applied once or twice. On the other hand, take a home that has been lived in by one owner for 30 years. The tax assessor doesn’t have that point of reference of a true sales price. By and large, the longer a person owns a home the more likely it is that the assessor’s numbers are inaccurate and to the low side.

Sometimes buyers believe that if a home is listed over the assessed value it is overpriced but this is just not the case. It is rarely on target and can be off in either direction.

What steps should I take to prepare my home for sale?

The expression “You never get a second chance to make a first impression” is absolutely true when it comes to selling a home. Buyers often decide if they will or will not like a home before they even check out the entire home. To make the best impression possible there are a few items that must be done. A few of these items are making sure clutter is at a minimum, odors are non-existent, repairs are complete, yard is spruced up and maybe even painting and re-carpeting. If a home is not property prepared, you will be at a huge disadvantage.

What is the difference between a list price and sale price?

The list price is the price a home is currently listed for sale at. The sale price is the price a home is sold at. Homes in different areas and/or different price ranges have a different list-to-sale price ratio but, in general, most homes go for 98% or higher of list price. And, in markets like we have right now, homes often go for OVER list price.

How much is my home worth?

You may have heard there are several ways to determine the value of a home but the most common method is a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA). A CMA is an in-depth evaluation looking at comparable homes that have sold over the last 3-6 months AND looking at what is currently on the market. There is no way to determine with 100% accuracy what a buyer will pay but a CMA is the best method for coming up with an estimated price. Listed below are some of the features to consider when completing a CMA.

  • Square footage
  • Year built
  • Number of bedrooms & bathrooms
  • Upgrades & features
  • Age of major components like roof and AC unit
  • Yard size
  • Neighborhood
  • Flooring
  • Pool or other amenities

Can I just use Zillow to determine what my house is worth?

NO! In fact, even Zillow reports that their “Zestimates” are not accurate and has a median error rate of 7.9 percent. (Zillow’s CEO Spencer Rascoff found his “Zestimate” to be 40k off when he sold his home in March 2016.) One reason sites like Zillow (often referred to a s third party real estate websites) are not accurate is they are not local to every real estate market. They don’t have sold data on many real-estate markets, Texas being one of them. There’s no way for a company that is headquartered in California to provide an accurate value for a home in Dallas. These websites generate values based on calculations and formulas and can lead to problems if relied on too heavily. The best way to get an accurate assessment of your home is to contact a local realtor.

Should I price my home higher so I have room to negotiate?

No, pricing your home higher does not help. In fact, using this type of strategy often backfires. A home that is priced correctly will sell for close to list price. Today’s home buyers are savvy and many times will not bother to even make an offer on a home that is overpriced. Some buyers will assume that if a seller has overpriced the home, they will either not be realistic or will be difficult to deal with. Even if these assumptions are incorrect, you could be hurting your chances of even receiving an offer.

After I receive a contract, how can I be 100% sure my home is sold?

Unfortunately, there is no way to guarantee that your home will close. There are several milestones along the way (inspections, survey, appraisal, loan approval) that can indicate everything is moving towards a closing but until all parties have signed the closing documents ANY contract can fall apart.

Should I respond to a low ball offer?

Selling a home can be a very emotional experience so if a buyer makes a low ball offer it’s easy to not handle the offer properly. The best way to think of any offer is to strictly look at it as a business transaction. Except in rare occasions, countering the offer, even if you counter at list, is better than just ignoring the offer and letting a potential buyer walk.

What are seller concessions?

Seller concessions permit a seller to contribute a percentage or dollar amount towards a buyer’s closing costs and/or pre-paid items. The amount that a seller can contribute depends on the loan program the buyer is obtaining. Many buyer’s in today’s market will ask for seller concessions even if they have impeccable credit scores and solid jobs. In fact, some buyers ask for concessions even when they are putting down a good size down payment. A buyer may do this because they only have so much available cash or they would just prefer to have as much financed as possible so they can keep as much cash on hand as possible. If the contract does have seller concessions, treat this as any other closing expense and just take this into consideration when determining the net proceeds for that contract.

Will a lender have required repairs?

If a home buyer is obtaining financing, an appraisal will be required and sometimes an appraiser could require certain repairs to be completed. However, lender required repairs are not extremely common. Examples of repairs that could be required are peeling paint, uninsurable roofs, foundation problems or missing appliances.

What happens if the appraised value comes in below sale price?

An appraisers primary job is to make sure that the value of the home is at least as high as the agreed upon price. If an appraiser determines that the value is below that number, there are a couple of options.

Buyer Makes Up the Difference

Sometimes a buyer will bridge the difference between the purchase price and the appraised value. This is fairly uncommon as many buyer’s find it hard to pay more for a home than an appraisal indicates it’s worth but in a hot market like this is sometimes necessary.

Seller Concessions

This is the most common scenario when an appraisal is low. The seller will agree to lower the price of the home to what the appraiser determines is the value of the home.

Challenge Appraisal

Challenging an appraisal is not an easy however persuading an appraiser to adjust the value can happen and be successful if a mistake was made or new data has come to light.

Contract is Cancelled

Unfortunately for both the seller and buyer, this is a common result from a property under appraising. If the buyer does not want to bridge the difference and the seller does not want to make the concession and adjust the sale price, the contract is cancelled.

What is the "Option Period" or "Termination Period" for?

An Option Period gives the buyer time to perform due diligence and is typically 7-10 days. Buyer’s will usually have a full blown inspection that will take several hours to complete but a buyer may also have specific inspections for a roof, pool, termite, foundation or a variety of other things. After any needed inspections, a buyer may request the seller to repair certain items, ask for a concession or a combination. Sellers are not required to do any repairs or give any concession but a buyer also has the right to cancel the contract for any reason during the Option Period.

Some of the items buyers often ask for sellers to repair are AC/Heater, foundation, roof, electrical issues, or water leaks.

What appliances stay with the home?

In Texas, only built in appliances stay with a home unless included in a contract. This means refrigerators (unless sub-zero built-in refrigerator), washers and dryers do not automatically stay with a house.

Why isn't anyone looking at my home?

This is a fairly complex question because there are so many variables. Most of the time, your home is not being seen because your home is not being looked at by a potential buyer is due to the price. However, other reasons could be the market for your type of home, location, curb appeal, amenities or even the number of bedrooms. One often overlooked variable are the photographs. Your homes FIRST preview is on the internet. Potential buyers will make a judgement about your home before they ever see it just based on the photographs, provided information, and even google maps! In today’s market, a professional photographer is no longer a luxury but is really a necessity.

How much do I owe if my home doesn't sell?

Nothing. We are only compensated when your home closes.

Should I be present when my home is shown?

Absolutely not! The main reason you should not be present during showings is that a buyer needs to feel comfortable in your home in order to picture themselves living there. Most of the time a realtor will make an appointment to see your home for a one or two-hour time block. Your home may show anytime during window so if you cannot leave for the entire time, the best idea is to leave as soon as the buyer arrives and then when you are certain the buyer has left, you can return home.

My wife's uncle's sister-in-law's daughter just got her license. Maybe I should let her help me my agent.

A real estate transaction is one of the biggest financial decisions you will make in your life. Because of this, picking an experienced real estate agent is extremely important. Think about it… Would you call a company and ask to hire the newest agent there? Or accountant, or lawyer. Of course not. No one would do that. The only difference is you have a connection to and know this party and trust them. Unfortunately, that has nothing to do with their experience in selling real-estate and solving problems that arise. The state education that is required primarily covers laws, rules, ethics, and some basic real estate concepts in order to obtain a license. They do not teach how to handle real situations that come up or handling negotiations, lenders, repairs, etc. Nothing. Not a single chapter. We’ve seen good personal relationships sour when things get rough or don’t happen at all as a result of just not having the experience necessary to tackle whatever came up.

How many homes have YOU (not your company) sold?

The number is changing daily but we are nearing 1,000 homes. The average agent sells about 11 homes per year and has been in business for less than 10 years. We have been selling residential homes for 20 years! Our experience will help YOU get what YOU need and want. Some agents will quote a number but instead of it reflecting homes that they have actually sold, they quote the number of homes the company has sold. Another twist that agents have used is quoting a number that includes homes sold while working for a relocation company, a foreclosure company or a builder. These type of sales are just not the same as working with individual sellers. The 1,000 homes we reference are individual owners just like you.

How long have you been selling residential Real Estate and are you full-time?

Selling real estate is similar to most professional jobs in that the majority of the knowledge you need is learned on-the-job. That’s why working with an agent with a significant amount of experience is so important. However, all experience is not created equal. Some agents claim

to have sold 100’s or 1000’s of homes but instead of working with individual home owners, these agents represented relocation companies, builders or a corporation. While they do technically have experience, working with this type of business is just not the same as working with individuals. Also, picking an agent that works full-time is important for a few reasons. First, if the agent only works part-time then not only could you have problems reaching the agent other agents may have difficultly as well. If an agent is not available, the service level the agent can provide is limited. Also, if an agent is not full-time and only does this as a side business, will that agent be as dedicated to making sure your home closes as the agent that has this as the only means of income? Besides all of this, simply the number of years an agent has worked in the industry is important. The more years of experience an agent has, the more types of market conditions an agent has experienced.

Can you provide testimonials from past seller whose home you sold?

Third party testimonials can say a lot about the services of a particular agent. Check places like Zillow, Realtor.com or Google to see posted reviews or look them up on Facebook. (Remember that sometimes the information, such as which homes have been sold, are not always 100% accurate.)

What is the best pricing strategy in a hot seller's market?

Looking at past sales will show what homes have sold for in the PAST but in a hot market looking in the rear view mirror is just not adequate. A top realtor will look at the past but will also look at what is currently on the market, what is under contract and then take into account all the differences in the properties and the overall trend of prices in the area. By looking at all of this a price range can be suggested but an exact price is not possible because only buyers can determine what the actual value of a home truly is.

How often do you communicate with your clients?

The frequency and methods of communication will vary from agent to agent and from client to client. Some clients need/want to be in constant contact while others really don’t. The most important part of communication is really availability. No one can be available 24/7 BUT reaching your agent when you need them is extremely important. Agents that turn off their phones on weekends or after 6pm and that may sound OK in the beginning, when you need your agent or another agent needs to reach them, this lack of availability DOES cause problems.

Who takes the photographs of your seller's homes?

There is only ONE correct answer for this question…. A professional photographer! Have you ever looked online at homes and wondered who would take such awful photos?!? I’m sure you have! The answer to that is their real-estate agent. The one that should have, but was too cheap to hire a professional. There are agents in this market that just snap photographs with their cell phone. Hard to believe but it does happen.

Do you charge 6%?

A common misconception is that all realtors charge 6%. That can’t be farther from the truth. Decades ago the 6% fee made sense but in today’s market, 6% is just crazy. On a 200,000 home, a 6% commission is $12,000 split between the buyer’s agent and the seller’s agent. A 400,000 home at 6% is $24,000 in commission. Is it really twice as hard to sell a 400,000 home as a 200,000 home? The logical answer is, “No! of course not!”.

Savvy Realty understands today’s market and realizes the OLD way of paying realtors just does not make sense anymore. Charging a flat fee on the seller’s side is really the most sensible and savvy way to go.

How do you obtain and deliver feedback?

Feedback is crucial in the home selling process a top realtor will use all available means (texts, emails, phone calls or even Facebook) to reach the showing agent. Once received, the unedited feedback needs to be delivered to you immediately. All feedback received is not helpful because most agents give a vague reason such as “layout didn’t work for the buyer”. However, sometimes an agent shares feedback that gives insight in to how buyers are seeing your home. Maybe you see a comment regarding condition or maybe price. By paying attention to what is shared changes can be made to the home to help find that perfect buyer.

Do you have other professionals you can recommend to me?

Top agents will work with top professionals. Of course you can use anyone you want to but if you need a referral to a lender, tradesman, title office, real estate attorney, insurance company, contractor, inspector, or any other needed person during the process, we have someone for you to call. We have these top connections because we work with these people each and every day and know the people recommended know what type of service is expected in order to stay on our list! Also, when using someone we recommend, it can greatly improve the probability of a smooth real estate purchase.

Additional resources:

Skip to toolbar