Daily Real Estate News

Historically Low Birth Rate Has Consequences for Housing

NAR Daily News Magazine - October 5, 2021 - 1:00am

Having a baby often leads to new housing needs. So, with fewer families in the market, your business could be impacted.

Condo Prices Are Shooting Through the Roof in Florida

NAR Daily News Magazine - October 5, 2021 - 1:00am

Nationally, twice as many condos were sold in May than a year earlier. See where rebounding demand is pushing up prices the fastest.

Survey: More Than Half of Americans Don’t Mind Commute

NAR Daily News Magazine - October 5, 2021 - 1:00am

Ninety-one percent of consumers who favor commuting say it’s at least “slightly” beneficial for having a good workday.

The Final Walkthrough Before Closing: Checklist and Tips

RisMedia Consumer News - October 4, 2021 - 6:02am

(TNS)—As you prepare to finalize a home purchase, there’s an important step to take before the closing: the final walkthrough. This personal inspection helps ensure that the home you committed to on paper is in relatively identical condition to when you first visited, and that the seller is compliant with the terms of your real estate contract.

What Is the Final Walkthrough Before Closing?

A final walkthrough is an opportunity for you, as the homebuyer, to visit and assess the property you’re purchasing before the closing. The goal of the visit is to ensure the home is in the same condition it was when you agreed to buy it.

“It’s also an opportunity for you to ensure that the seller has moved out or substantially moved out, and that the seller did not cause any damage during the move-out,” adds Lisa Okasinski, a real estate attorney and owner of Okasinski Law PLC, based in Detroit.

This visit is important, as it allows you to assess whether the seller has met your interpretation of the purchase agreement and removed all their personal property, explains David North, broker/owner of Realtrua in Redmond, Washington.

“This is also the time to confirm that non-subjective contractual obligations of the seller, such as specific repairs, have been met,” North says.

Final Walkthrough Checklist: What to Look For

There are several items you should confirm during the final walkthrough of the property. Okasinski and Elizabeth Grimes, an attorney with Ligris + Associates PC in Wellesley, Massachusetts, recommend the following checklist:

– The seller’s belongings have been fully moved out.
– Any repairs that the seller promised would be done have been completed.
– All appliances that the purchase agreement specified would remain are in proper working order.
– The seller left copies of all manuals and instructions for appliances and fixtures.
– Door and window locks are fully functioning.
– The HVAC systems (furnace, air conditioning, etc.) are working properly.
– All faucets are working, toilets flush properly and there are no plumbing leaks.
– All walls, ceilings and doorways are structurally intact and not damaged from moving.
– The yard is free of any debris or damage.
– The seller left the garage door openers and keys in the home or with their agent.

“Cleanliness, completion of repairs, any changes to the condition of the property from the time of the sales contract, presence of all items that are contractually included in the sale and removal of items not included in the sale should all be checked during your final walkthrough,” North advises.

When Is the Final Walkthrough?

The final walkthrough commonly takes place 24 to 48 hours before closing. The home purchase agreement typically contains a provision allowing for the walkthrough, and it might specify the window of time in which it can occur.

“I always suggest to my clients to schedule the final walkthrough on the morning of the closing so that they are getting a last look to make sure the property is in good condition prior to signing closing paperwork,” Grimes says.

What to Bring to the Final Walkthrough

You are not required to bring anything with you to the final walkthrough, but you might want to bring a checklist (either on paper or your phone) that you can mark off during your visit. Your real estate agent and/or attorney might also be present with you during the final walkthrough.

“I always suggest buyers bring a flashlight to look in basement and attic areas that have low visibility, too,” Grimes says.

How Long Should a Final Walkthrough Take?

The duration of the walkthrough is up to you—there is no legal maximum or minimum time limit, according to Okasinski. Generally speaking, prepare to take the time necessary to carefully evaluate the home. Rushing through a final walkthrough can lead to regret, as you could accidentally overlook flaws or breaches of contract.

“How long it takes is highly dependent on the property, how inclined you are to look at details, what you end up finding and other unpredictable factors,” North says. “I always recommend scheduling at least an hour and a half—sometimes longer. Walkthroughs don’t usually take longer than that, but they can, at times.”

Can a Buyer Back Out During the Final Walkthrough?

Whether or not you can terminate your real estate contract after the final walkthrough depends on the terms of your agreement.

“In most cases, it would be hard to terminate the purchase agreement as a result of the final walkthrough, unless you could point to a major change in the condition of the property,” Okasinski cautions. “For smaller items of damage that happened after the purchase agreement was entered, it’s more realistic that the parties would agree to have the buyer withhold from the seller an amount necessary to make the repairs at closing.”

Legally, however, you are allowed to back out if the property does not meet the obligations detailed in your real estate contract, according to Grimes.

“Typically, sellers and buyers instead agree to either monetary compensation or other solutions to ensure the transaction moves forward,” Grimes says.

What to Do If You Find Issues in the Walkthrough

You might discover a problem or violation of your purchase agreement during the final walkthrough, but that doesn’t mean it’s a dealbreaker.

“Depending on the problem, there is usually a solution that can be worked out with the seller,” Okasinski says. “For example, if the seller appears that they are not able to move by the scheduled closing date, you could either delay the closing date or enter into a lease with the seller so that you receive rent from them after the scheduled closing date. If there is damage to the property you notice, you could have the seller agree to make the repairs to the property or negotiate to have the purchase price reduced by the cost of repairs.”

“I always advise the buyer to review the situation carefully and figure out whether or not it’s worth delaying the closing or mentioning it to the seller,” adds Jason Gelios, a REALTOR® with Community Choice Realty in Southeast Michigan. “However, larger issues like missing appliances or major damage to the property should never be overlooked.”

Gelios notes that most of his buyer clients don’t back out of the deal without holding the seller accountable for things not honored in the purchase agreement.

“Most sellers are open to making things right at this stage of the process,” Gelios says.

©2021 Bankrate.com
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC

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Court Says Sending Email Can Create Binding Contract

NAR Daily News Magazine - October 4, 2021 - 1:00am

Be careful before you press the “send” button. It’s “potentially equivalent to signing a piece of paper,” one columnist writes in Forbes.

25 Most ‘Neighborly’ Cities in the U.S.

NAR Daily News Magazine - October 4, 2021 - 1:00am

Where will you find the friendliest people living next door?

4 Ideas About Millennial Homeowners That Never Came True

NAR Daily News Magazine - October 4, 2021 - 1:00am

Don’t believe everything you read about the largest segment of buyers in the housing market.

Rising Homeowner Equity May Keep Foreclosures at Bay

NAR Daily News Magazine - October 4, 2021 - 1:00am

The average borrower gained $51,550 in home value in the second quarter—five times the increase from a year earlier.

Be a Master of Bouncing Back

NAR Daily News Magazine - October 4, 2021 - 1:00am

Alex Rodriguez talks at NAR’s inaugural C5 Summit about baseball, real estate, and never giving up.

From NAR’s C5 Summit, New York, Sept. 27–29

Where Bills That Affect Real Estate Stand on Capitol Hill

NAR Daily News Magazine - October 1, 2021 - 1:00am

Friday marks the first day of the new fiscal year for the federal government, a consequential date for a raft of programs and government funding.

What You Should Know About FEMA’s Risk Rating 2.0

NAR Daily News Magazine - October 1, 2021 - 1:00am

The agency heard your concerns and those of your clients and adopted most of the recommendations from NAR’s Insurance Committee.

Average Mortgage Amount Increases to $410,000

NAR Daily News Magazine - October 1, 2021 - 1:00am

Borrowers are taking out larger home loans in order to afford rising real estate prices.

Survey: Owners Fear Financial Burden of Foundation Repairs

NAR Daily News Magazine - October 1, 2021 - 1:00am

About a quarter say they’d rather sell their home than fix a problem with its foundation.

Mortgage Rates Back Above 3%. Will They Keep Rising?

NAR Daily News Magazine - October 1, 2021 - 1:00am

The rate for the 30-year loan posts a sharp rise after spending nearly four months below 3%, Freddie Mac reports.

Real Estate Q&A: The Association Says I Missed Payments. I Say I Didn’t. Now What?

RisMedia Consumer News - September 30, 2021 - 6:02am

(TNS)—Q: For the last several months, my condo association has accused me of missing two payments from several years ago that they apparently just discovered. I paid my dues with online bill pay and provided the association with proof of payment for those two months. The property manager is still asking for the “missed” payments and refuses to give me a copy of my account ledger. What can I do? — Ira

A: Your question highlights the need for keeping good records. Now that you are being accused of not paying your dues, the onus is on you to prove that you did.

Association maintenance payments are applied to the oldest outstanding amount due. This means the payment you make in October will be applied to a payment missed in May, along with late fees and collection costs. This procedure cause confusion and further problems because you think you are paying October, but your association feels you are just catching up on an earlier missed payment.

Because of this, you will need to do more than show them only the two payments they claim you did not pay.

Gather proof of monthly payments going back before the payments they claim you missed. Check to see you paid every month.

If you did, provide management with proof you made all of those payments and politely demand they correct their ledger.

If it turns out that you missed earlier payments, write a check for the overdue amounts before the problem gets worse.

Your community must provide you with a copy of your ledger, and there are penalties for them refusing to do so. It is also suspicious that the property manager does not want to.

Speak to a board member and let them know what is happening, especially after you prove you are current with your dues.

Most property managers are honest and hardworking, but there are always exceptions to every rule, and no one likes to admit their mistakes.

Gary M. Singer is a Florida attorney and board-certified as an expert in real estate law by the Florida Bar. He practices real estate, business litigation and contract law from his office in Sunrise, Fla. He is the chairman of the Real Estate Section of the Broward County Bar Association and is a co-host of the weekly radio show Legal News and Review. He frequently consults on general real estate matters and trends in Florida with various companies across the nation. Send him questions online at www.sunsentinel.com/askpro or follow him on Twitter @GarySingerLaw.

©2021 South Florida Sun Sentinel
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC

The post Real Estate Q&A: The Association Says I Missed Payments. I Say I Didn’t. Now What? appeared first on RISMedia.

‘Leaning in’ to Bring Tenants Back

NAR Daily News Magazine - September 30, 2021 - 1:00am

Building owners talk about what return to work might look like—and how they’re easing the transition.

From the virtual 2021 REALTORS® Legislative Meetings, May 3–14

Renters Job Hunting for Higher Income to Afford Housing

NAR Daily News Magazine - September 30, 2021 - 1:00am

The costs of one- and two-bedroom apartments nationwide have climbed 8% between July 2020 and July 2021, data shows.

More New Homes Are Being Built With 4-Plus Bedrooms

NAR Daily News Magazine - September 30, 2021 - 1:00am

Builders are responding to buyer demand for more space, driven in large part by growth in multigenerational households.

Inventory Hits 2021 High, Competition Remains Fierce

NAR Daily News Magazine - September 30, 2021 - 1:00am

Nearly one-third of the 50 largest metros saw annual increases in the number of listings in September, realtor.com® reports.

Biophilic Design Is the Latest Buzz in Multifamily

NAR Daily News Magazine - September 30, 2021 - 1:00am

More plants are adorning rooftops, lobbies, and balconies as high-rise tenants show desire for tie-ins with nature.

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