FAQ's

An agent who is authorized to open and run his/her own agency. All real estate offices have one principal broker.

A REALTOR® is an agent or agency that belongs to the local or state board of REALTORS and is affiliated with the "National Association of REALTORS" (NAR). They follow a strict code of ethics beyond state license laws and also sponsor the Multiple Listing System (MLS), which is used to list houses for sale.

REALTOR is a trademark of the National Association of Realtors.

An escrow officer is the person that walks you through the closing process. They are usually employed by the title company that you are working with. They are a neutral third-party, responsible for overseeing the escrow process. They typically perform the title searches, prepare final paperwork, witness the document signings as well as ensure that the transaction is executed properly and legally.

Homeowners association is a nonprofit association that manages the common areas of a condominium or "planned unit development" (PUD). Unit owners pay a fee to the association in order to maintain areas such as a pool or playground that are owned jointly.

A contingency is a provision included in a sales contract stating that certain events must occur or certain conditions must be met before the contract is valid.

Generally, real property never depreciates in value, or more so, it is not very common for property to depreciate. This is why it's a great investment. Make sure you carefully consider location and community when choosing a home, it can affect the homes future value greatly.

If you are in a newly developed area, do some research on the construction of the surrounding areas being developed to determine if they may affect your homes value.

A multiple listing service is a computerized listing of homes for sale in an area listed with a realtor. Agents are granted access to the MLS and can use it to find a house in a particular price range or area.

Title insurance is insurance that protects the lender and buyer against any losses incurred from disputes over the title of a property.

Closing costs are the expenses incurred by buyers and sellers in transferring ownership of a property.

A real estate agent is more than just a salesperson. A real estate agent may act on your behalf, providing you with advice and guidance when buying or selling a home. Due to the constant changing of the market, the information available on listings is not always 100% accurate. There are times when you need the most current information about what has sold or is for sale, and the only way to get that is with a real estate agent.

If you are in the market to buy, it would be advisable to use a Buyer's Agent. They can make recommendations on what terms and prices to offer as well as negotiating a deal with your best interest in mind.

Along with economic factors such as supply and demand, the time of year you choose to sell can impact both the length of time it takes to sell your home and its ultimate selling price.

Typically, the real estate market picks up around February, continues strong through late May and June, and tapers off during July and August. The summer is usually the busiest time for moving since school is out and buyers may be looking to get their children in school before the new school year. September through November generally marks a rally not as strong as late winter and spring, followed by a slowdown from Thanksgiving through and beyond the Christmas and New Year holiday period.

These are referred to as recently sold properties that are similar in size, location, and amenities to the home for sale. These properties help an appraiser determine the fair market value of a property.

Well, several factors may come into play:

  • - You might help sell similar homes that are priced lower.
  • - Your home may be on the market longer.
  • - You could lose market interest and qualified buyers.
  • - You might create a negative impression of the property.
  • - You could lose money as a result of making extra mortgage payments while incurring taxes, insurance and unplanned maintenance costs.
  • - You may have to accept less money.
  • - A potential buyer may face appraisal and financing problems resulting from the inflated price.

It is not recommended to sell your home any higher than the appraised value unless demand is high in your area. Ask you real estate agent which price would be right for your home. Also make sure you get a Home Value Request to assist in determining the best sales price for your home.

You must take into account the prevailing state of the real estate market and especially local market conditions. The real estate market continually changes, and market fluctuations affect property values. So it is critical to determine your listing price based on the most recent comparable sales in your neighborhood.

It would be a good idea to get a Home Value Request, or CMA, also known as Comparable Market Analysis.

No. If you prefer a lower-priced offer, perhaps with a better-qualified buyer and/or more attractive terms, you can accept that offer instead. Or you can give counteroffers to one or more of the buyers.

Beware, however, that if you turn down a full-priced offer, you may owe your agent a full commission even if you decide not to sell your home.

A report made by a qualified person setting forth an opinion or estimate of value. The term also refers to the process by which this estimate is obtained.

In conventional mortgages and in the HUD-FHA Direct Endorsement Program, the lender receives a copy of the complete report, showing the basis for the appraiser's estimate.

In VA cases and in HUD applications processed by HUD, the lender receives only a statement of the estimate of value, without any detailed supporting data.

A counteroffer is an offer made by one party that makes changes to the original or latest offer of the other party.

This type of listing is the most commonly used and is the most effective. With this type of listing the agent does the most work to sell your home they will usually advertise your home, place it into the MLS, market your home to other agents and even hold open houses for your home. Only with this type of listing does an agent expect to earn money back on their investments on selling your home.

Because the buyer orders one or more home inspections doesn't obligate the seller to make repairs or modifications as a result of those inspections. Typically, however, inspection reports are used to negotiate repairs of major problems, or environmental or safety hazards that may be noted. The purchase contract should provide guidance for these negotiations.

A real estate agent is more than just a salesperson. A real estate agent may act on your behalf, providing you with advice and guidance when buying or selling a home. Due to the constant changing of the market, the information available on listings is not always 100% accurate. There are times when you need the most current information about what has sold or is for sale, and the only way to get that is with a real estate agent.

You don't need to use a commissioned real estate agent to sell your home, but you may want to consider the benefits of having a real estate agent versus not using a real estate agent.

In addition, many people would rather use an Agent due to the complexities of modern Real Estate transactions since they usually incorporate legal and financial attributes, which takes them well beyond more simple transactions, such as the sale of an automobile.

There are several advantages when using a real estate agent to sell your home, such as - your listing will be added to the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) so that large numbers of buyers will have access to the seller's property. In addition, your real estate agent absorbs all of the cost of advertising and marketing, and the screening that will be done of potential buyers by Agents. The Agent will also handle the details of negotiation.

Deciding whether to use an Agent or not depends on if you feel fully confident that you can handle all of the details, then you may well want to attempt selling your house on your own. If not, you most likely will want to use a real estate agent and leave the details to them.

If you're pre qualified it means that you POTENTIALLY could get a loan for the amount stated to you, assuming that all of the information you provide to the bank is accurate and true. This is not as strong as a pre approval.

If you're pre approved, it means that you have undergone the extensive financial background check, which includes looking at your credit history, previous tax returns and verifying your employment - and the lender is willing to give you a loan, basically meaning you're approved!

You will usually be provided an accurate figure which shows the maximum amount that you are approved for. Most sellers prefer buyers that have been preapproved because they know that there will not be any problems with the purchase of their home.

A debt-to-income ratio is the percentage of a person's monthly earnings used to pay off all debt obligations.

The easiest way to avoid PMI is by putting 20% down payment; however, PMI can also be avoided if you only have 5% or 10% for the down payment. The way to accomplish this is via a first and second mortgage combination commonly referred to as 80/10/10^s or 80/15/5^s.

These two methods combine a first mortgage lien for 80% of the home price with a second mortgage lien for either 10% or 15% of the home price leaving the remaining 5% or 10% as the down payment. Because the first lien is at the magical 80% loan=to-value, there is no PMI required, even though a second mortgage is being |piggybacked| onto the financing thus allowing for the lessor down payment.

While the second lien terms are not as attractive as first lien rates, the second mortgage is still home mortgage interest and thus deductible as such on your federal tax return where PMI is insurance and offers no deduction.

Prior to the existence of private mortgage insurance, individuals typically could not purchase a home unless they had a downpayment of at least 20% of the purchase price. Private mortgage insurance benefits the mortgage lender directly by reducing the costs associated with borrower default. It also benefits consumers by lowering down payments, thereby allowing more people to achieve home ownership.

Most mortgages originated today calculate interest in arrears, unlike consumer loans which calculate interest to the date of payment receipt. As an example, when borrowers pay their February mortgage payments, they are paying the January interest. This method of calculating interest is based on a 360 day year in which each month has 30 days.

Most mortgages originated today calculate interest in arrears, unlike consumer loans which calculate interest to the date of payment receipt. As an example, when borrowers pay their February mortgage payments, they are paying the January interest. This method of calculating interest is based on a 360 day year in which each month has 30 days.

This answer depends largely upon the type of mortgage you are trying to obtain. The most attractive and most common type of mortgage financing is FNMA & FHLMC also known as agency paper. To get an agency approval, the rumored acceptable credit score is 620. This can vary widely depending on other factors when underwriting the buyer (down payment, income, liquid assets...). To offer a range, consider the following: below 620 is poor, 620-650 marginal, 650-680 nothing special, 680-700 fairly good, 700-720 good, 720-750 very good, above 750 is excellent. Many loans are closed every day with credit scores less than 620. More than likely they are not on agency paper. Alternatives to agency paper are government loans (FHA & VA) and sub-prime money.

No. It is your mortgage and you may decide upon the lender. However, most volume builders are effectively |forcing| their buyers to use their in-house mortgage company by refusing to pay certain fees or even altering upgrade packages based upon them getting or loosing the mortgage. This |forced-use| game most often spells higher interest rates for the buyer compared to what is available in the open marketplace.

This question is best answered after careful consideration of your own personal financial goals. Buying down the interest rate (paying points on the mortgage - one point is one percent of your mortgage amount) may not be in your best interest. Here are some reasons why:

Mortgage interest paid is tax deductible in most cases (seek the advice of an accountant or the IRS).

The funds are no longer available to invest, save or use (ie. purchase an IRA, pay off credit card debt at a higher rate, etc.)

Falling interest rates can be taken advantage of sooner if discount points are not paid to buy down the interest rate (the original interest rate was higher).

In the past, if a consumer bought down the interest rate and then refinanced (buying down the rate again), it is possible not enough time will have elapsed to recover the |buy down| amount through the reduced monthly payment. This also occurs if the consumer sells the home before recovering the |buy down| amount.

Not only does the amount paid in discount fees (buy down amount) need to be recovered, the |time value| of the money spent or its |present value| also needs to be recovered. Present value is the income you could have earned or the satisfaction you could have received through alternative use of your money. Remembe to consider the tax consequences of your ultimate decision.

Individuals should do what best fits their own personal situation and goals.

Prepaid interest is typically paid at loan closing. It is the interest paid on a new loan from the day of closing through the end of the month. All future interest on a mortgage loan is then paid in arrears. For example, if your new loan closes on February 19th, prepaid interest would be paid at closing from February 19th through the end of the month of February. Interest would then be paid monthly with your first payment beginning April 1st which would pay March interest. Your payment on May 1st would pay April interest, etc

The origination fee is the fee some lenders charge to cover some of the costs of making the loan and is calculated by multiplying the total mortgage loan amount by the percentage shown. This fee is typically 1% or lower, but may also be influenced by market conditions or the type of loan being sought.

A lock in guarantees a certain interest rate for a certain period of time.

PITI is the total monthly payment you make on a house-Principal, Interest, Taxes, and Insurance..

Underwriting is the process of evaluating a loan to determine whether the loan is a good risk.

When a lender makes a mortgage loan (other than a home equity loan), the lender typically requires a first lien position. This means there can be no other outstanding liens against the property that are superior to the new mortgage. Liens can result from a variety of sources, such as home equity loans or lines of credit, child support judgments, divorce settlements, delinquent taxes, and special assessments. Most realtors, mortgage companies, title companies, and escrow companies will assist the seller and/or borrower in clearing title. The ultimate responsibility, however, lies with the sellers of the property who are warranting clear title to the buyers. It is important that the buyers receive clear title from the sellers so there are no future claims against their property ownership rights.

ALWAYS! You should consult with your real estate attorney should you ever have any legal questions, feel confused about a contract or document, or feel uncomfortable with what is being asked of you. It is important that you understand exactly what you are signing and agreeing to. Licensed Real Estate Agents are not attorneys in the State of Texas and cannot give legal advice or practice law. A real estate agent is permitted to give sales advice, negotiate transactions, and prepare TREC Promulgated contract documents on behalf of their client.

This list is for informational purposes only. It is highly recommended that you do your own research. Tyler Q. Jenschke, Jenschke Luxury, The J Luxury, and Compass RE Texas, LLC. make no guarantee or warranty of any information, services, or products and any such representations are hereby disclaimed.