Seller Resources - Articles

Common Q&A When Considering Selling Your Louisville Home

How Long Does the Loan Process Take?
The length of time it takes to get mortgage approval can vary depending on factors such as the lender you go with and the type of loan you apply for. A buyer motivated for a quick closing can help the mortgage approval process go more quickly by gathering all the necessary documents prior to applying for a mortgage loan. Commonly, a lender will require the following:
- pay studs for the last two to three months
- income tax returns with all applicable schedules
- bank statements from the last three months
This may not include everything your lender requires, but it is a good start.

It is not uncommon for a purchase contracts to be written with a closing date about 30-45 days from date of acceptance. Often a Louisville realtor will write in a specific date so everyone knows what we are working toward. If all of the buyer's numbers are strong, such as credit score and debt-to-income, mortgage loans can often be completed in less than 30 days.

There are many reasons for a delay in mortgage approval. Below are some examples that can cause delays:
- Appraiser appraisers property below purchase agreement price and seller hesitates or won't lower the sales price.
- Changes to purchase contract.
- Buyer is getting FHA financing, appraiser request repairs, and the seller refuses to make requested repairs or the repairs take more time than is allocated in the purchase contract.
- If this purchase is contingent upon another purchase and the timing doesn't line up.
- Waiting for your current home to close so you can use those funds for your down payment.
- Title company is not doing their part in a timely fashion.
- The title is not clear.

What Does P.I.T.I. Stand For?
P.I.T.I stands for Principal, Interest, Taxes, and Insurance and pertains to what your monthly mortgage payment will consist of.

Do I Have to Sell my Home to the Highest Bidder? 
You do not have to accept the highest offer. There are many factors involved in a purchase contract. A buyer can offer full-price, but may include terms in the offer that you find unacceptable or undesirable. All terms can be countered in the purchase contract or simply rejected.

Why Should I Use a Real Estate Agent?
With today's technology there is so much information readily available, consumers sometimes question if they should hire a real estate agent, wondering if they could buy or sell a home without representation from a realtor. Below we discuss reasons you might benefit from hiring a professional Louisville realtor.

Convenience. With today's cooperative real estate system, local realtors can show almost any property in the Louisville area. As a buyer, you don't have to contact multiple realtors and be available to accommodate everyone's schedule. You can simply schedule time with your Louisville realtor, who can schedule to view multiple properties in one block of time. As a seller, you can be assured your property will get due activity. Professional realtors represent buyers and sellers as a full-time job and they know what it takes to get the deal closed.

Experience and Education. With rules and laws constantly changing, even savvy consumers can not possibly learn everything needed to make a real estate transaction go smoothly. You simply don't need to know it all if you hire an experienced, skilled full-time Louisville realtor.

Knowledge. A professional realtor knows how to calculate the value of a home. Agents have access to information and resources to not only calculate what a house sold for, but the history and condition of the property. Not everything available online is 100% correct.

Guidance. Agents may not always dictate prices for buyers and sellers, but they do equip their clients with enough information to help them decide on a good list or offer price.  

Referrals. Realtors network with other professionals and value those relationships. Your agent can often refer you to qualified trades professionals that can simplify life.

Negotiation. Skilled agents negotiate well from years of education and experience. They are removed from the emotional aspect of the transaction and can put their nose to the grind to negotiate the best price and terms to fit your needs. They can play the role of "bad guy" averting bad blood between buyers and sellers that can make a deal go sour.

Paperwork. A seasoned agent understands the purchase contract and is equipped to explain it paragraph by paragraph so you understand what you are or aren't agreeing to. Understanding your goals, they can make suggestions so that the terms suit your needs. Your realtor will explain to you what you have to do to satisfy the law. For example, in Jefferson County, sellers have to have hard-wired smoke detectors installed or install new 10-year non-removable batteried smoke detectors, by law.

Money. If you decided to list your home without the representation of a realtor, you are likely to not get as much activity on your home; therefore, the buyers will not be as motivated to offer as much. The buyer will want to get a better deal and will likely base the offer with the mindset on the savings of not having representation. Also, savvy buyers have a commitment to their realtor and may ask you to pay their realtor's commission.

Fiduciary Responsibility. A realtor who becomes an agent of a Seller or Buyer will be deemed to be a fiduciary. Fiduciary duties are the highest duties known to the law and the duties include Loyalty, Confidentiality, Disclosure, Obedience, Reasonable Care and diligence, and Accounting.

Service After Closing. Not only to tie up any loose ends from the closing, your agent should also be an ongoing support for any trades professionals you need or questions you have regarding real estate in the future. A professional realtor will value the relationship so you will refer business and potentially for your repeat business.

In Summary, there are certainly many people qualified to sell their own home, but the process isn't as simple as many people believe. It is a full-time profession. A professional real estate agent is skilled and knowledgeable and provides service for you. The market is constantly changing and a realtor can provide helpful guidance and advice whether you are buying or selling a Louisville home.

What are These Real Estate Acronyms?
If you find yourself stumbling over weird acronyms in a real estate listing, don't be alarmed. There is method to the madness of this shorthand. Here are some abbreviations and the meaning of each, taken from a recent real estate newspaper classified section: 
- assum. fin. -- assumable financing
- dk -- deck 
- gar -- garage (garden is usually abbreviated "gard")
- expansion pot'l -- may be extra space on the lot, or possibly vertical potential for a top floor or room addition. Verify actual potential by checking local zoning restrictions prior to purchase.
- fab pentrm -- fabulous pentroom, a room on top, underneath the roof, that sometimes has views
- FDR -- formal dining room (not the former president)
- frplc, fplc, FP -- fireplace
- grmet kit -- gourmet kitchen
- HDW, HWF, Hdwd -- hardwood floors 
- hi ceils -- high ceilings
- In-law potential -- potential for a separate apartment. Sometimes, local zoning codes restrict rentals of such units so be sure the conversion is legal first.
- large E-2 plan -- this is one of several floor plans available in a specific building
- lsd pkg. -- leased parking area, may come with an additional cost
- lo dues -- find out just how low these homeowner's dues are, and in comparison to what?
- nr bst schls -- near the best schools 
- pvt -- private
- pwdr rm -- powder room, or half-bath 
- upr- upper floor
- vw, vu, vws, vus -- view(s) 
- Wow! -- better check this one out.

* "Real Estate's Ambiguous Language You Oughtta Understand," Glennon H. Neubauer, Ethos Group Publishing, Diamond Bar, CA; 1993.

Laurie Wolberton
Laurie Wolberton
2310 Dorothy Avenue Louisville KY 40205