Angela Sells DFW

Journey with me through my real estate, motherhood and Texas adventures

Archive for the month “December, 2016”

Surveys, surveys, & surveys

Surveys are to be provided as agreed upon in the contract.  If a seller has agreed to provide the survey they have within a specific time period, they must do so in the time period or they are responsible for purchasing a new one, if a new one is needed for any reason.

Surveys provided by sellers are a savings feature for buyers as typical sized, suburban lots will garner around a $400 survey bill to create a new one.

Any time a survey is either provided or purchased, there is a time period as agreed upon in the contract in which a buyer can object or back out due to what is seen on the survey.  This is especially important to know so that you will pay attention when it comes over for review to be sure that you understand all of the easements, boundaries, structures on the property and, for sellers, to ensure that it is correct.

For larger tracts of land, surveys will cost thousands of dollars and may take up to 4 weeks or longer to be created depending on the terrain of the property.  Surveys for larger pieces of land are especially important to review in their entirety prior to moving forward on a purchase.  Generally, you will have a longer time period to review these if your agent allotted for that time in the contract they wrote on your behalf.

If you’re looking for an experienced agent, we’d love the opportunity to earn your business!  You can call, text or email:(817) 771-0998 or AngelaSellsDFW@gmail.com.

 

When is a contract “Executed”?

All of the deadlines in a real estate contract begin the day after execution.  Execution is when ALL parties of a contract have signed and the contract is delivered back to other party.

There is confusion surrounding this sometimes, however, the execution date should be the date that the signed contract was delivered back to the other party.

 

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Leasebacks & Property Condition

It is customary in the North Texas region for buyers to offer short (1-3 days) leasebacks to sellers for free. This is an especially important offering if you are in a competitive offer situation.  By offering a leaseback, you are allowing the seller to stay a certain amount of days after closing to move from the property & have it ready for you with the peace of mind, certainty that they have the money in the bank to do so. They are usually very grateful for that!

As is sometimes common in North Texas, you may have a string of 3 plus homes contingent on each other closing.  In this case, leasebacks are imperative since not everyone can close and move all on the same day.

Providing a lease back is extremely generous (whether it’s a short, free one or whether it’s a paid, longer one) since you are trusting that the other party will make good choices and leave the home in great condition for you.

An interesting piece of the Texas Association of Realtors contract is that they do not outline how a property should be left.  It is good practice to leave the home in the condition that you would want to receive it: professionally cleaned, helpful information left out, appliance information and or warranties left for the buyer, etc.   For some people, this is a no-brainer but for some it is best to be reminded as moving is stressful and sometimes we just aren’t thinking about it from the other side.

When you get ready to move, please be courteous to the other party and leave your home in good condition or hire someone to come back and do it for you.

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Closing & Funding…the FUN part!

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In years past, part of the closing process was sitting at the table with the buyer, seller and the agents that represented both. A lot of people liked it so that they could meet the other party, trade stories of memories created and hopes of memories to be created in years to come. Once everyone signed, the buyer received the keys, the seller received their check and everyone went on their merry way.  I’m not sure why this practice changed but it did.

Currently, buyers come to closing separately than the sellers. It has created a longer closing period and it often confuses both buyers and sellers.  You see, in the past, when everyone sat at the same table, the title company could send all the signed documents to the lender for them to release the buyers’ funds.  That is how they were able to quickly issue keys and checks.  Now that buyers and sellers sign separately, it means that the documents aren’t sent to the lender for what we call funding (releasing the buyers’ funds to purchase the home) until after the last party signs.  Typically, it takes 1-3 hours for a lender to review the funds and release the wire.  This is what we call “funded”.  Once the property has closed (everyone signed everything) and funded (the lender released the buyers’ funds for the loan) then the title company or listing agent is able to issue the keys to the buyers or their agent.

The trick here is that if you close after 3 p.m. the wire cut off for the day has been missed which means that while the title company can “receive” the buyers’ lender’s wire, they cannot wire out the money to the sellers or wire the seller’s proceeds to another title company that day.  This can cause great duress if there are domino closings happening.   It is always best practice to close as early as possible in the day or if an afternoon time is needed, to close the afternoon before to help expedite funding and avoid delays.

Ready to buy or sell a home and looking for an outstanding agent? Give us a call at (817) 771-0998 or email Angela at AngelaSellsDFW@gmail.com.

What is a Financing Contingency?

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In the state of Texas, real estate contracts can be contingent on many things.  One of the common contingencies is for financing.  When a buyer is purchasing a property that they intend to purchase by securing a mortgage, they will typically make the contract contingent on them securing that loan.  The idea behind this is that the buyer is protected during the financing contingency deadline in that if they cannot obtain the financing within the agreed upon timeline then they may terminate the contract & receive their earnest money back.

This is why, as a buyer, it is important to have a preapproval ahead of time.  A preapproval will outline what a mortgage lender has reviewed on your behalf or not reviewed.  It also outlines the terms of the proposed financing.  This is an indicator to listing agents and seller of how well qualified you are.  It is also important for the buyer to understand the chances of securing financing.

Although a buyer is protected during the financing contingency so that you would receive the earnest money back, you would not receive your option fee back nor be reimbursed for any inspections or appraisals purchased.  Most often, when buyers do not turn in all of their documents at the time of preapproval, it is their tax returns that cause the financing to go south for them. It is very, very important to turn in ALL of your requested financial documents as soon as possible so that a lender can evaluate your situation as thoroughly as possible to prevent any costly surprises or disappointments for you later down the line.

Listing agents who go the extra mile will often reach out to lenders before presenting offers to their sellers and ask the lender if they have reviewed ALL of their documentation.  If the answer is no, some sellers do not want those offers presented.  For instance, we ask that all of our sellers give us written permission not to present any offers unless they are accompanied by a preapproval in the purchaser(s) name(s), dated within the preceding 30 days and conclude that all financial documents have  been reviewed including tax returns and assets to close have been verified in the accounts.  Getting your documents in ahead of time is both a win for you the buyer and also for the seller.

It is also important to understand that the financing contingency deadline is decided on at the time of contract execution, very rarely would a seller ever agree to extend that deadline.  If you do not give notice that you cannot obtain financing before the deadline ends, you would be in danger of forfeiting your earnest money to the seller if you could not obtain financing due to credit worthiness.

The exception to this would be if the home you are buying did not appraise at the agreed upon purchase price or the appraiser recommended lender required repairs.  In both of these cases, the buyer and seller would need to come to an agreement in order to move forward.  If an agreement couldn’t be reached due to these two items, the buyer would receive the earnest money back since the financing not coming together was not through their doing but caused by the appraised value or property condition.

Ready to buy or sell a home and looking for an outstanding agent? Give us a call at (817) 771-0998 or email Angela at AngelaSellsDFW@gmail.com.

What is earnest money?

When purchasing a home in the state of Texas, generally speaking, two checks are required once you have an executed contract: one check for your option fee and one check for your earnest money.  The option fee is made payable to the seller, the earnest money check is made payable to the title company (anything $1,000 & over should be a cashier’s check).  The earnest money must be delivered to the title company within three CALENDAR days from the time the contract was executed.  This is why it is so important to deliver the necessary checks to your agent immediately or even ahead of time if you know your contract is being accepted.

The purpose of earnest money is to put down funds as a promise to act in good faith & how you are legally obligated per the outline of the contract you signed.  This  money is held by an uninterested third party known as a title company in a non-interest bearing account.  When you purchase the home, these funds are credited towards your cash needed to close.  For instance, if you put $3,000 down as earnest money then that would be $3,000 less you would need to bring with you to closing.   Should you decide not to purchase the home or not be able to purchase the home for any reason not outlined as an acceptable exit in the contract, you would forfeit your earnest money to the seller.

Buyers generally have three common acceptable exits to a real estate contract commonly (there are others and specific situations but we are talking about generalizations here), they are:

The Option Period

The Financing Contingency

Addendum for Sale of Other Property by Buyer

As a buyer in a competitive offer situation, it is a HUGE advantage to offer a high amount of earnest money.  This signifies to the seller and the listing agent that you are confident in your abilities to purchase the home and that you don’t mind putting your money where your mouth is essentially.  It is also a positive indicator that you have cash sitting in the bank and are not still waiting on a bonus or funds from some where else.

From the seller’s view, they generally like to see at least 1% of the purchase price offered in earnest money.  The reason for this is that if the contract were to fall through,  that would be all they are left with as compensation.  Most times the 1% doesn’t even cover the cost of what’s already been spent for movers, cleaning, repairs, etc.  not to mention they will now need to pay additional taxes and mortgage payments that they were not intending to pay.

Ready to buy or sell a home and looking for an outstanding agent? Give us a call at (817) 771-0998 or email Angela at AngelaSellsDFW@gmail.com.

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What is an option period?

When purchasing a home in the state of Texas, you do not have an “inspection” period as a buyer, you have what its called an “option”period. During the option period of the contract, the buyer may opt out of the contract for ANY reason.

The caveat to this is that the option period fee must be received by either the seller or the listing agent, within three CALENDAR days of the contract being executed.  If the option period fee is not received AND receipted by the seller or the listing agent then the period is not granted to the buyer as outlined in the contract; they may not “opt” out of the contract.  This is why it is so important to get your option fee in to your buyer’s agent immediately or even ahead of time, so that they have enough time to deliver or overnight it (over-nighting is best since it comes with 3rd party verification of being received as well).

The option period is intended to allow the buyer of the property enough time to do their due diligence on it prior to moving forward with closing.  Since the buyer may opt out for any reason, this is typically when repairs are requested by the buyer.  Unless otherwise agreed to in writing, the seller is not obligated to complete any repairs requested by the buyer; however, the buyer is not obligated to move forward with the contract either.  During the option period, there are typically still repair negotiations or purchase price in lieu of repairs negotiating going on.

Once the buyer has decided they would like to move forward, they may waive the remainder of their option period.  If a buyer is financing a property, the appraisal is typically ordered after the option period ends.

Sometimes buyers like more than one home and put offers in on multiple homes at once when they only intend to purchase one.  This is unethical on the part of the agent that represents these kinds of buyers.  None the less, buyer will do this and offer low option fees since they know that when they “opt” out, the only funds they will lose is the low fee.

As a buyer in a competitive situation, it is a HUGE advantage to offer a higher option fee to a seller.  It tells them that you have skin in the game, that you really want their house and if you choose to opt out, you will have lost something truly valuable.  To strengthen your offer as a buyer, we advise offering $75 per day of option requested.  In the current market, most sellers will not accept more than 7 days of option period; sometimes in the case of relocation buyers though, 10 days will be granted.  The shorter the option period length and the more you offer, the stronger your offer is in a seller’s eyes.

Ready to buy or sell a home and looking for an outstanding agent? Give us a call at (817) 771-0998 or email Angela at AngelaSellsDFW@gmail.com.

 

 

Medi-what?! Medi-share = Money Savings!

Thanks to my awesome Executive Team, I realized that in true procrastination style, I needed to quickly research new insurance plans and make a decision by December 15th for 2017!  Being self-employed, we look to the Health Care Marketplace for our plans since, in the great state of Texas, I am unaware of any private companies offering full healthcare any more.  As a family of 5, we aren’t cheap to insure any more with new healthcare plans.  This year we paid around $1,200 per month for our insurance premium and contributed the maximum of $546 each month into a Health Savings Account since our individual deductible was $6,700 per person.

Our health care plan, for the third year in a row, is being cancelled and the provider will no longer be offering insurance in Texas so here we are again, to find a new plan with new doctors, fill out more new patient paperwork and figure it all out again.  (Can you sense my joy through the words here?!)  One of our team members told us about a christian insurance option a few weeks ago that she and her husband have used for years and loved. My first thought was “Medi-what?”, I didn’t truly understand what it was.  They have utilized medi-share for health care, visits and prescriptions.  Our team member is a very smart, educated woman who I trust so her perception of it got me thinking about using that as an option.  I am naturally suspicious of all things, especially if they sound too good to be true.  After looking into the program she uses, it sounded way too good to be true so I set out on a mission to either confirm or deny that!

The program is essentially like traditional insurance in that every one pays in a “share” that is held by the company.  As qualifying expenditures come in, they are submitted like traditional insurance claims and the company pays them out of the “pot”, per say.  So, it’s the same principal as traditional insurance but utilized in a different way.

I asked around our office, which by the way is 704 agents, so it’s not a small office.  What I found was that a lot of other agents in our office use some form of this kind of insurance and really like using it.   Those in our office who have it, have children…some of them have a lot of children.  One family has 13 children.  You read that right, 13 children!  They are wonderful people and have actually told us about their medi-share program in the past but for some reason, it didn’t “click” with me.  They used the insurance for all of their children as well as cancer treatment for the wife and heart issues for the husband.  To me, their story of the program offered hope that it works and it works well.  You can see a commercial that they shot for the company they used here.

I also found that agents in our office have used this insurance for having babies which was surprising to me!  I know how much I paid for our babies and all of a sudden, I was a little sad that they paid so much less than we did!  This was the one “con” that has been told to me, not all doctors will file the insurance claim with the provider on your behalf.  Sometimes you have to pay up front and then request reimbursement from the insurance company.  One family who just had a baby in September 2015 said that they paid out of pocket for most baby items and then they were reimbursed after submitting the paperwork to the insurance company.  In their case, because there were so many providers involved, it was strenuous but it got done and they didn’t have any issues with it.

I have also heard that prescriptions are all reimbursements; no one has said they’ve had issues with the prescription reimbursements but that’s how it was done.  You can also use ANY provider, any where. #boom Take that Obamacare!  Goodbye assigned Primary Care Physician that I’ve never met and never has room for a sick visit!

The best part is that these programs are compliant with the Affordable Care Act and you will not have to pay the penalty in lieu of having traditional insurance!

There are three companies that came highly recommended to me and I have included their websites below.  I think what it ultimately comes down to for each person or family is whether you would prefer a lower monthly “share” and a higher “deductible” or not.   There are some things that each company doesn’t cover and that varies between them; some of those are organ transplants, if something were to happen to you due to you being intoxicated, etc.

Each company, since they are christian companies, do make you commit to not smoking, not drinking alcohol, not having extramarital affairs and they will not cover abortions.  You should definitely read the fine prints as different terms will have varying impacts on each individual or family’s situation.  We have decided to go with the Medi-share program.  On all of these programs, once you sign up, if you refer someone in and they sign up with you as the referring party, you will get 1 month free “share”!   With that in mind, if you decide to go with Medi-share, please use this link to sign up! (It will help me get a discount on my monthly “share”.)

We decided to go with Medi-share since so many people we know personally are with them as well.  They were also the one that our pediatrician is already working with.  Another added benefit is the 24/7 Teledoc service.  We stay so busy and so does our pediatrician so this is a really great feature!  For us, we are excited about the option of having a really low monthly “share” since we already set aside funds  in a Health Savings Account for the deductible that we chose, should we need to use it.  It made financial sense to us to save $1,400 per month and direct those funds into an investment account instead of pay monthly premiums for insurance that we rarely utilize.

Moving to these programs was a no-brainer for us since we were actually considering not having insurance in 2017 and paying the penalty.  This is better than that plus I’ve heard wonderful things about them.  The best part is that they stay in prayer for you.  How awesome is it to be in business with a company that prays for you and your family?!  This is more of what America (and the world for that matter) needs.  I am all on board this train!

I hope this helps you with your decision making! Leave me comments and let me know what you decide or if you have additional pros or cons!  I’d love to hear from you!

 

Medishare website:

https://mychristiancare.org/medi-share/

 

Liberty website:

http://www.libertyhealthshare.org/

 

Samaritan website:

http://samaritanministries.org/

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February 2017 Update:

We did decide to go with Medi-Share and we love it so far!  I am getting a lot of questions on what we do for dental and vision.  Medi-share has a discount dental plan as part of your membership with them which is what we are now using.

When we did have dental, the kids’ favorite dentist was still $250 per visit for two of them so we are used to paying out of pocket for that.  We haven’t used the dental discount plan yet but I will let you know how it goes when we do.  They’re due in June.

For vision, we haven’t carried vision insurance since it was included with Rick’s group plan years ago.  We have just gone out of pocket for it and will continue to do so.  Hope this helps!  Don’t forget, if you sign up for Medi-share, use this link so that I receive a referral gift from them!

 

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