Texas Panhandle Real Estate News & Market Trends

You’ll find our blog to be a wealth of information, covering everything from local market statistics and home values to community happenings. That’s because we care about the community and want to help you find your place in it. Please reach out if you have any questions at all. We’d love to talk with you!

Jan. 30, 2020

10 Things A Seller Should Know When Their Home Is Being Inspected

10 things every seller should know about home inspectionsIt is very typical for buyers to want to inspect your home. They’re not necessarily thinking you’re hiding things. A home is one of the largest investments a buyer will make and it just makes sense to find out as much as you can about it. There are a few things to know before the inspector shows up.

  • 1.It’s OK to be nervous! Most sellers are! The thing to remember is that worry changes NOTHING! Most sellers freak out all to find out the buyers ask for a few items. Even if there were earth shattering findings, your worry offer solutions for NOTHING! SO, try to relax and take things as they come.
  • 2.Texas Licensed Home inspectors are licensed through TREC (Texas Real Estate Commission). The same entity that issues Real Estate Licenses. Therefore, the buyer might show up for the home inspection and their agent may not. Rest assured that inspectors have been vetted including background checks and fingerprinting, so you should have the same peace about them being in your home.
  • 3.An average-sized home, 2500 sq. ft or less in the Texas Panhandle, should take 2-4 hours. However, inspections on larger homes may require more time.
  • 4.To save yourself the money from having to reimburse the buyer for inaccessible items and the return trip of a home inspector, be sure that all items are accessible. For example, attic pull downs, crawl spaces, breaker panels, sprinkler system panels, hot water and heater closets.
  • 5.All utilities should be left or turned on in order for buyer’s to have the ability to inspect all systems.
  • 6.Much of what may appear on a report might be code variances. What is required code now might not have been building code when your home was built. Many buyers will not fret over these items, but there are some that do. It is a futile effort to try to bring an older home to new code standard, however, if not completed a buyer may choose to exercise their termination option. (See paragraph 23 of your Texas Residential sales contract.) Sometimes a written statement from a local municipality on code for the particular year built of the home.
  • 7.Just because a buyer checked the “As Is” box on the contract, does not preclude them from requesting repairs, nor does it prevent them from exercising their termination option. (see Paragraph 23) It simply states that at the time of writing the contract, they’re not requesting any repairs. See Paragraph 7D of the Texas Residential 1-4 Family contract) Appraisals are typically conducted after home inspections. They do have items that are “subject to”. These repairs are considered “lender required”. (See Paragraph 7E of the Texas Residential Contract) What “lender required” means, is dependent on type of loan the buyer may be attaining, certain items may be required to be repaired or remedied before the bank will complete the loan. The contract states that no one is “neither party is responsible for paying for repairs”, however, a buyer may not be able to attain the financing desired if the repairs the appraiser specifies are not completed.
  • 8.You DO NOT have to leave the home spotless as if you were showing, but remember, your buyer might attend, and you want your home inspector to have clear view of everything with the exception of what is under or behind furniture.
  • 9.Texas HOME inspections are NOT PASS or FAIL. They’re conducted for the purpose of the buyer acquiring as much information about the LARGE investment they’re making as possible.
  • 10.You are not obligated to agree to complete ANY repairs however, a buyer may possibly have the unrestricted right to terminate. (Paragraph 23 of the Texas Residential 1-4 Contract), or if the items are specified by the appraiser and “lender required”, the buyer may not be able to attain financing, thus the contract could terminate and the buyer could possibly be entitled to the earnest money when refunded.
Oct. 18, 2019

Taking the Perfect Photos to Sell Your Home

Perfecting the First Impression of your Home…Photography!!!

stage the perfect photos to sell your home fasterAs the old saying goes… “You only have one opportunity to create a first impression”. Photography IS your home’s first impression! According to National Association of Realtors Survey, 70-99% of buyers are online during their home buying process!

Your goal is to attract as many potential qualified buyers as possible. More showings could mean more offers. If you’re one of the many sellers praying for an HGTV-style bid war, the first trick is creating traffic! The way to do this is to laser focus beautiful photos on your home’s greatest strengths and minimizing its weaknesses.

To do this, first things first, remove as many distractions as possible. Think of creating a blank canvas for your potential buyer to mentally place their furniture, decorate, and make your home their own!

That’s the goal, right??? A fresh, clean, minimalist setting is the most successful selling environment. Here’s your step-by-step guide to accomplishing this task!

Inside:

  • Remove or hide all small kitchen appliances, soaps, sponges, dishracks. Basically, you want to remove everything except maybe a VERY few items of décor.
  • Remove all refrigerator art, family pictures, magnets, calendars, etc.
  • Remove personal items from bathroom, tub, and showers . . . shampoo, toothpaste, brushes, used towels, etc.
  • Pack up all personal photos and interesting collections.
  • Arrange a minimum number of towels in bathroom racks
  • Remove unneeded furniture to make rooms look larger. Less is more! Bedrooms should be Bed, dresser, nightstand. In small bedrooms, remove everything but the bed.
  • Touch up paint and consider neutralizing wall paint. Light tan and light grays are the best for photos.
  • Baseboards and trim are the items in the home that take the most beating. A fresh coat of paint on the trim takes a home from “lived in” to “move in ready”
  • When accessorizing, one item is usually better than two or more in a specific area.
  • Remove all clothing from view, including the laundry room.
  • If vacuuming leaves a pattern, try to make it consistent.
  • Clean all countertops, sinks, baths, showers. Mirrors, and appliances.

Outside:

  • Remove all vehicles from view including all types of trailers and boats. All driveways should be cleared. Do your best to remove oil stains on driveways.
  • Rake and sweep up leaves and debris.
  • Powerwash porches on the ceilings and on the concrete.
  • Replace and or Apply fresh paint to any doors and trim that are faded or scratched by animals.
  • Remove all animal droppings and toys.
  • Grass should be mowed AND EDGED and swimming pool cleaned. Hide waterhoses.
  • Wash important view windows inside and out.
  • Clean off and arrange patio furniture.
  • Plant bright annuals to show color

We wish you the best of luck on the sale of your home!

Nov. 6, 2018

Home Warranty v. Home Insurance. What Covers What?

home insurance illustration

What Is Home Insurance?

Home Insurance is required by the lender if you have a loan on your home. Home insurance varies on what is covered determined by the policy type. Covered perils might include hail or wind, vandalism, theft, fire, natural perils etc. Be an informed consumer on water damage coverage as it varies vastly. Home insurance insures the entire home, but does not cover natural wear and tear or maintenance.

Insurance & Escrow

Most people escrow their insurance, which means it’s included in their mortgage payment and held in an account until it is due. The invoice is sent to the lender and the lender pays the invoice out of the escrow, or Holding, account. Homes that are paid off do not require home insurance. However, it is imperative that home insurance is kept until you could financially afford to replace your home if it were destroyed.

Insurance Deductibles

Typically, there are deductibles associated with insurance claims. This also varies, dependent on types of policies and affects your overall premium cost. Common deductibles range from a set amount to a small percentage of the amount your home is insured. Home insurance policies might also offer some liability coverage. Personal property insurance may be added when you purchase homeowners insurance to cover your personal items such as the belongings that are most often kept in your home. A homeowners insurance policy is the best way to protect from loss.

home warranty illustration

What is a Home Warranty?

A home warranty policy has a different type of protection. It covers the components of your home including items like hot water heaters, heating and air, electrical, plumbing and some appliances. Much like a homeowner insurance policy, home warranty policies also vary. Additional options sometimes include water wells and septic systems.

How a Home Warranty is Paid

Home warranty companies are often very flexible on how a home warranty is paid. It might be billed monthly, quarterly, or yearly. There is a section in a Texas Real Estate Contract that allows a buyer, when purchasing a home, the opportunity to ask the seller to contribute a dollar amount “not to exceed a certain amount” toward the purchase of a home warranty, or “residential service contract”.

What to do When Something in Your Home Stops Working

When a homeowner with a home warranty experiences something that stops working, they should call the home warranty company directly. The home warranty company contracts with service providers to come out and repair or replace the item if it is covered by the home warranty. Typically, the homeowner simply pays a flat amount, similar to a doctor’s office co-pay to the home warranty company. The home warranty company could pay for the remainder of the covered cost of repair dependent on policy coverage and compliance by the homeowner with policy guidelines.

The Difference Between a Home Warranty & Home Insurance

Home insurance and home warranties pay for separate things. For instance, you might have a water line break that happens to be covered by a home warranty, but the home warranty will most likely not cover the damage the broken line caused. Your home is one of the best investments of a lifetime. Protecting your greatest asset is not only wise, but imperative. Do your research on the details of both your home insurance and home warranty policies to ensure the best protection of your home.

If you are interested in acquiring a home warranty, get in touch with one of our highly trusted home warranty providers.

July 31, 2017

Curious About Local Real Estate?

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Curious about local real estate? So are we! Every month we review trends in our real estate market and consider the number of homes on the market in each price tier, the amount of time particular homes have been listed for sale, specific neighborhood trends, the median price and square footage of each home sold and so much more. We’d love to invite you to do the same!

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You can sign up here to receive your own market report, delivered as often as you like! It contains current information on pending, active and just sold properties so you can see actual homes in your neighborhood. You can review your area on a larger scale, as well, by refining your search to include properties across the city or county. As you notice price and size trends, please contact us for clarification or to have any questions answered.

We can definitely fill you in on details that are not listed on the report and help you determine the best home for you. If you are wondering if now is the time to sell, please try out our INSTANT home value tool. You’ll get an estimate on the value of your property in today’s market. Either way, we hope to hear from you soon as you get to know our neighborhoods and local real estate market better.

Posted in Market Updates