Question: We are in contract on a house and had an inspection done. Among the inspector’s findings: wood rot around windows, cast iron pipes under the house and missing shingles on the roof. Doesn’t the seller have to make the repairs? Answer: No. There is no requirement for a seller to make any repairs, unless
Question: Are open houses actually useful? Answer: The short answer is, yes. Oh, we’ve heard many of the arguments against public open houses: Only nosy neighbors come. It’s a weekend amusement for people who could never afford my house. Dishonest people might be checking out my stuff. Real estate agents want them in order to
Question: What precautions should be taken for an open house? Answer: Despite six months of COVID-19, the real estate business has not ground to a halt. Or, to put it more accurately, after a hard stop last spring, it is once again percolating along. People feel more comfortable going out, and there remains a pent-up
Question: What is the difference between a saltwater pool and a regular pool? Answer: A sparkling clean backyard pool makes a sultry Houston summer worth it, right? And no doubt, given our current COVID situation, people who have a swimming pool will be staying home and using it more than ever this year. As real
Question: I know that real estate contracts have contingencies. What does that mean? Answer: Black’s Law Dictionary helpfully defines a contingency as “an event that may or may not happen, a doubtful or uncertain future event.” As Texas realtors, we are trained in the use of promulgated forms – i.e. forms approved and required in
Question: What do home staging services do – and are they worth the money? Answer: The point of staging a home is, simply, to make it more appealing. You know about getting rid of clutter, touching up paint and replacing the dead shrub by the front door. Staging takes that “fluffing” process to an entirely
Question: What are the most common mistakes made by home sellers? Answer: We can think of three areas where sellers sometimes stumble. The first is pricing the property too high. The logic is, often, “Let’s price it high so that we have room to negotiate down.” We see that backfire all the time. It’s true
Question: What is title insurance? Why do I need it? Answer: Before you close on a new home, the title company does a title search that includes examining the deed, tax records and survey. The point is to make sure that there are no existing liens or restrictions on the property you want to buy.
Question: Does it make any difference whether we close on our new house before or after January 1? Answer: If this new home will be your primary residence, then, yes, it does make a difference. If you own your house as of January 1, you will qualify for the homestead exemption. What does that mean?
Question: We’re considering selling our home ourselves without using a real estate agent. Is that legal? Answer: Yes, it’s perfectly legal to sell your own home. But there are many reasons why you are better off using a professional. Sellers who choose to sell their home on their own – the industry term for “for