What is an “MLS?”

MLS stands for “Multiple Listing Service”, which are lists of properties in a local area. There are hundreds of MLS organizations across the United States. From state to state, each MLS organization assigns a numeric code to each property listing. This code is unique to the property in that respective state. However, because there are so many MLS organizations nationwide, sometimes the MLS numbers are duplicated for some properties across the country.

How do I get a market analysis done on my home?

Advantage agents will provide a market analysis free of charge to be presented in the initial listing presentation.

What is the first step in getting a mortgage?

Getting pre-qualified is the initial step in the mortgage process, and it’s generally fairly simple. You supply a bank or lender with your overall financial picture, including your debt, income, and assets. After evaluating this information, a lender can give you an idea of the mortgage amount for which you qualify. Pre-qualification can be done over the phone or on the internet, and there is usually no cost involved.

What are specials?

The use of special assessments is a method that a city uses to pay for infrastructure improvements. These are different than property taxes. These assessments help divide the cost of projects among the properties that would benefit, such as water main replacements, flood protection, sidewalks, paving, and storm sewers to name a few of the projects.

Where can I get flood information?

City and county websites offer information regarding floods. Also, your local insurance agent may be the easiest and best resource for these questions.

What is a home warranty?

A home warranty is a home service contract[2] that covers the repair and/or replacement costs of home appliances, major systems such as heating and cooling, and possibly other components of a home, structural or otherwise. The home service contract generally covers equipment and appliances, such as dishwashers, plumbing systems, and electrical systems that fail due to normal wear and tear. Home warranty contracts do not cover all home repairs.

What is earnest money?

Earnest money is a deposit on the house you want to buy. It’s used to show sellers that you are earnest, or very serious, about buying their home. Sellers rarely will accept offers without deposits. Assuming all goes well and you buy the house, the earnest money goes toward the down payment and closing costs.

Is a home inspection required?

A home inspection is not required, but it is highly recommended. Depending on your state there may be language in the Contract To Purchase which gives you the contractual right to inspect the residence within a stated period of time. This is often referred to as the Due Diligence period. The buyer usually has the opportunity to have the seller repair certain deficiencies up to an agreed to amount, or in the case of an As Is Contract can decide to not go forward with the purchase based on the results of the inspection. It is to the buyer's advantage to have the property inspected for deficiencies that are not visible or known to the seller.

What is the difference between a home inspection and an appraisal?

Appraisals give a value to the home based on several factors. It is usually the instrument used by lenders to support the loan. Inspections give the buyers an idea of any problems and suggest any repairs that should be done.