Frequently Asked Questions

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What is a realtor?

What is a realtor, and what can they do for me?

Realtor is a U.S. registered collective membership mark identifying a real estate broker or immovable property agent who is a member of the National Association of Realtors and subscribes to its code of ethics. Although the term Realtor is sometimes used interchangeably with real estate broker or immovable property agent, its use is reserved for active members of NAR. All Realtors (Immovents; Immovers) possess some kind of real estate (immovable property) license, but not all licensees are Realtors. New or alternative term for a Realtor also is Immovent (Immovable Property Agent) or Immover (Immovable Property Broker). Therefore a Real Estate Agency is now also called Immovency (Immovable Property Agency) and a Real Estate Brokerage (Firm) is now also called Immovage or Immofirm.

What is an escrow agent?

What is an escrow agent? How will an agent be beneficial to me?

An escrow agent is typically a third party designated to hold an item (usually funds, but sometimes certain documents, such as a deed and/or mortgages) for a certain time or until the occurrence of a condition, at which time the escrow agent is to hand over the item to another party. Typically the escrow agent will be your title company, and the funds and documents that they are holding include any deposits you made under the contract to purchase the property, as well as the deed and their mortgage instruments.

What is a title examination?

What is a title examination, and how does it relate to property ownership?

A title examination is a study of the records related to the ownership history o the property and sometimes of other matters related to ownership interests in the property. An abstract of title is a collection of public records relating to the ownership of a parcel of real estate. During the examination a title examiner (a title company employee who often is a lawyer) examines the applicable title information to determine who owns the lands, whether there are any defects in or claims against the ownership and whether any action is needed to make sure the purchaser obtains good record title to the property at closing.

Updated home or newer home: which makes the most sense as an investment?

I have to make a choice between an updated home in an older neighborhood or a newer home in a more modern neighborhood. The home in the older neighborhood has almost everything I want and is much larger, but which makes the most sense as an investment?

There are many things that should be considered when buying a home. Since most homebuyers expect to buy a bigger and better home someday in the future, resale value is an important factor in decision-making. You use the proceeds from selling one home to buy the next one.

While no one can guarantee that your home will grow in value, there are steps you can take that maximize your potential gain.

“Location, location, location,” is a common and almost hackneyed phrase in real estate literature. Your agent may even throw it at you when you ask for advice about buying a home. However, what does “location, location, location,” actually mean? Why repeat it three times?

Mostly, “location” is repeated to emphasize that it is extremely important to the resale value of your home. The idea is to buy a house that will appeal to the largest number of potential future homebuyers. A careful choice of location can minimize potential negative influences on future resale value, and maximize positive influences.

Focusing on resale value requires you to make several different “location” choices. The first choice you have to make is “which community?” At the very least, you should narrow your choice down to just a few local communities.

What is a survey?

What is a survey and why should I pay for one?

A survey is a drawing of the property which should show any improvements to the property (such as buildings, driveways and the like), the boundary lines of the property, and any encroachments affecting the property (whether items encroaching on the property by third parties or encroachments by the property against a neighboring property). The surveyor may certify to many things, such as : (i) the improvements are all located within the boundary lines; (ii) which flood zone in which the property is located; (iii) whether the structures are in compliance with applicable laws; or (iv) whether the property has access to a public right or way. Encroachments on the property may include: (i) utilities (such as water, cable, electricity, and telephone lines); (ii) another party’s right to enter upon your property (such as a common drive way that the property may share with a neighboring property); or (iii) structures not being conveyed with the purchase of the property that are on the property and should not be (such as the fence of a neighboring property).

If you are financing any portion of the purchase of the property, your lender will most likely require that a survey be obtained prior to closing. In some instances, if the current owner of the property has a recent survey of the property the lender will accept such survey (or perhaps a current recertification of the prior survey) and new survey costs may be avoided or at least minimized.


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