Sometimes it can be confusing for both buyers and sellers on why a property survey is necessary when selling or buying a home and which party is responsible for paying for the survey.
What is a Property Survey?
A survey is a document that shows exactly where the property lines begin and end. In addition to the boundary lines, a survey shows any easements on the property and where they are located. The survey also shows the location of any fence lines, any water or flood plain issues and any right of ways and access.
In Texas, it is a very common practice for the seller to provide their existing survey (if they have one) along with a notarized document to the new buyer.
I recommend that my buyer clients purchase a new survey even if there is an existing survey available because things can change over time.
Is a Property Survey really necessary?
A property survey is not always required to purchase the property. However, if you are the buyer, it is to your benefit to know exactly how much land you are paying for. There could be issues that only a surveyor will be able to find. Maybe there is a fence that is not between the boundary line of the adjoining properties. Or, the driveway or deck may be on part of the neighbor’s land. These are important things to know when you are buying a property. An existing survey may not show these types of issues.
Who Pays for the Property Survey?
The party that pays for it is the party that agrees to pay for it. I personally believe that it is a buyer’s fee. The seller likely paid for their existing survey when they originally purchased the home way back when. A buyer who accepts an old survey generally has no claim against the surveyor and that buyer must rely on the coverages in his or her title policy if a survey issue should come up.
I suggest that a buyer get a new survey rather than relying on an old survey. Now the surveyor is liable for any errors. The survey cost will vary depending upon the size of the property but it is a small price to pay to protect your investment.
Why Use a SFR Realtor?
The National Association of REALTORS® offers the SFR® certification to REALTORS® who want to help both buyers and sellers navigate these complicated transactions, as demand for professional expertise with distressed sales grows.
According to a recent NAR survey, nearly one-third of all existing homes sold recently were either short sales or foreclosures. For many real estate professionals, short sales and foreclosures are the new “traditional” transaction. REALTORS® who have earned the SFR® certification know how to help sellers maneuver the complexities of short sales as well as help buyers pursue short sale and foreclosure opportunities.
“As leading advocates for homeownership, REALTORS® believe that any family that loses its home to foreclosure is one family too many, but unfortunately, there are situations in which people just cannot afford to keep their homes, and a foreclosure or a short sale results,” said 2013 NAR President Gary Thomas, Broker/Owner of Evergreen Realty in Orange County, California. “Foreclosures and short sales can offer opportunities for home buyers and benefit the larger community, as well, but it’s extremely important to have the help of a real estate professional like a REALTOR® who has earned the SFR® certification for these kinds of purchases.”
The certification program includes training on how to qualify sellers for short sales, negotiate with lenders, protect buyers, and limit risk, and provides resources to help REALTORS® stay current on national and state-specific information as the market for these distressed properties evolves. To earn the SFR® certification, REALTORSÒ are required to take one core course and three Webinars. For more information about the SFR® certification, visit www.REALTORSFR.org.
1. Define your needs.
Why do you want to sell your home? Write down all the reasons you are selling your home. Ask yourself, “Why do I want to sell now and what do I expect to accomplish with the sale?” For example, a growing family may prompt your need for a larger home, or a job opportunity in another city may necessitate a move. Define your goals. Do you need to sell your house within a certain time frame or make a particular profit margin? Work with a real estate agent to map out the best path to achieve your objectives and set a realistic time frame to sell your home.
2. Price to Sell Your Home
Determine the best possible price to sell your home. Setting a fair asking price from the outset will generate the most activity from other real estate agents and buyers. It is important to take consider the condition of your home, what comparable homes in your neighborhood are selling for, and state of the overall market in your area when setting the price to sell your home.
It’s very difficult to be unbiased when putting a price on your home, so that is why my expertise in real estate and current market conditions will be critical at this step. I know what comparable homes are selling for in your neighborhood and the average time those homes are sitting on the market. You’re always better off setting a fair market value price than setting your price too high. Studies show that homes priced higher than 3 percent of their market value take longer to sell. If your home is on the market for too long, potential buyers few the home as “shop worn” and may think there is something wrong with the home . Often, when this happens, the seller has to drop the price below market value to compete with newer, reasonably priced listings.
3. Prepare to Sell Your Home
I know I don’t keep my own home in “showroom” condition. We all tend to overlook piles of boxes in the garage, broken porch lights, and doors or windows that stick. Now is the time to break out of that owner’s mindset and get your house in tip-top selling shape. The condition of your home will affect how quickly it sells and the price the buyer is willing to offer. First impressions are the most important.
As an agent, I will help you take a fresh look at your home and suggest ways to stage it and make it more appealing to buyers. A home with too much “personality” is harder to sell. Removing family photos, mementos and personalized decor will help buyers visualize the home as theirs. Make minor repairs and replacements. Small defects, such as a leaky faucet, a torn screen or a worn doormat, can ruin the buyer’s first impression. Clutter is a big turn off to potential buyers. Remove all knick-knacks from your shelves and clear all your bathroom and kitchen counters to make every area seem as spacious as possible.
4. Get the word out.
Now that you’re ready to sell, I will put my experience to work for you by setting up a marketing strategy that is specific to your home. There are many ways that I get the word out: The Internet , Yard signs, Open houses, Media advertising, Agent-to-agent referrals, Direct mail marketing campaigns. Listing your home on the MLS is only one piece of the overall marketing strategy. I use a combination of these tactics to bring the most qualified buyers to your home including hosting a well marketed open house. My marketing structure is designed to bring out the most potential buyers during the first 3-4 weeks on the market.
5. Receive an offer.
When you receive a written offer from a potential buyer, I will first find out whether or not the individual is prequalified or preapproved to buy your home. If so, then you and I will review the proposed contract, taking care to understand what is required of both parties to execute the transaction. The contract, though not limited to this list, will likely include the following: legal description of the property, offer price, down payment, financing arrangements , list of fees and who will pay them, who pays for the survey, deposit amount, inspection rights and possible repair allowances, method of conveying the title and who will handle the closing, appliances and furnishings that will stay with the home, settlement or closing date, and any contingencies.
At this point, you have three options: accept the contract as is, accept it with changes (a counteroffer), or reject it. Once both parties have signed a written offer, the document becomes legally binding.
6. Negotiate to sell.
Most offers to purchase your home will require some negotiating to come to a win-win agreement. Since I am well versed on the intricacies of the contracts used in Texas, I will protect your best interest throughout the bargaining process. I also know what each contract clause means, what you will net from the sale and what areas are easiest to negotiate. Once both parties have agreed on the terms of the sale, I will finalize the contract.
7. Prepare to close.
Once you accept an offer to sell your house, there will be a list of all the things you and your buyer must do before closing. The property will likely need to be formally appraised, surveyed, inspected or repaired. I will coordinate these tasks and serve as your advocate when dealing with the buyer’s agent and service providers.
Depending on the written contract, you may pay for all, some or none of these items. If each procedure returns acceptable results as defined by the contract, then the sale may continue. If there are problems with the home, the terms set forth in the contract will dictate your next step. You or the buyer may decide to walk away or open a new round of negotiations or simply proceed to closing.
8. Close the deal.
“Closing” refers to the meeting where ownership of the property is legally transferred to the buyer at the title company. I will be present during the closing to guide you through the process and make sure everything goes as planned. By being present during the closing, I can mediate any last-minute issues that may arise. An attorney is not required to attend closings in Texas . In Texas, the sale is final when the funding of the home is complete. This can be the on the same day you sign the closing paperwork or the next day. When the transaction is funded, the buyer officially owns the home.
Here are the 8 basic steps to buy a home. A qualified, experienced Realtor will guide you through the process.
1. Decide to buy.
Although there are many good reasons for you to buy a home, wealth building ranks among the top of the list. Home ownership is the best “accidental investment” most people ever make. When done right, home ownership becomes an “intentional investment” that lays the foundation for a life of financial security and personal choice. There are solid financial reasons to support your decision to buy a home. These reasons include equity buildup, value appreciation, and tax benefits.
Base your decision to buy on facts, not fears.
If you are paying rent, you likely can afford to buy.
There is never a wrong time to buy the right home. Find a good buy and make sure you have the financial ability to hold it for the long run.
You may not need a large down payment to make your first home purchase.
A less-than-perfect credit score won’t necessarily stop you from buying a home.
The best way to get closer to buying your ultimate dream home is to buy your first home now.
Buying a home doesn’t have to be complicated. There are many professionals who will help you with the steps to buy a home.
2. Hire your agent.
The typical real estate transaction involves at least two dozen separate individuals. Insurance assessors, mortgage brokers and underwriters are some of the individuals involved in the steps to buy a home. Other individuals are inspectors, appraisers, escrow officers, buyer’s agents, seller’s agents, bankers, and title researchers. Numerous individual actions have to be orchestrated in order to get a home sale closed.
It is the responsibility of your real estate agent to expertly coordinate all the professionals involved in your home purchase. Moreover, your agent must act as the advocate for you and your interests throughout the process.
Seven main roles of your real estate agent:
Educate you about your market.
Analyze your wants and needs.
Guide you to homes that fit your criteria.
Coordinate the work of other needed professionals.
Negotiate on your behalf.
Check and double-checks paperwork and deadlines.
Solve any problems that may arise.
Important questions to ask your agent:
Qualifications are important. However, finding a solid, professional agent means getting beyond the resume, and into what makes an agent effective. Start with these questions to ask a potential real estate agent.
Why did you become a real estate agent?
Why should I work with you?
Tell me what do you do better than other real estate agents?
Explain the process will you use to help me find the right home for my particular wants and needs?
Describe the most common things that go wrong in a transaction and how would you handle them?
List some mistakes that you think people make when buying their first home?
What other professionals do you suggest we work with and what are their credentials?
Can you provide me with references or testimonials from past clients?
3. Secure financing.
The thought of home ownership is thrilling. However, the thought of taking on a mortgage may be downright chilling. Many first-time buyers may be confused about the mortgage process. Others may be about making such a large financial commitment.
Here is a six-step, easy-to-understand process to secure the financing for your first home.
Choose a loan officer (or mortgage specialist).
Make a loan application and get preapproved.
Determine what you want to pay and select a loan option.
Submit to the lender an accepted purchase offer contract.
Get an appraisal and title commitment.
Obtain funding at closing.
4. Find your home.
Many think that shopping a home starts with jumping in the car and driving all over town. And it’s true that looking at homes is probably the most exciting part of the home-buying process. However, driving around is fun for only so long. If weeks go by without finding what you’re looking for, the fun can fade pretty fast. That’s is why the first step to buy a home is to carefully consider your long and short term values, wants, and needs.
What do I want my home to be close to?
How much space do I need and why?
Which is more critical: location or size?
Would I be interested in a fixer-upper?
How important is home value appreciation?
Is neighborhood stability and priority?
Would I be interested in a condo?
Would I be interested in new home construction?
What features and amenities do I want? Which do I really need?
5. Make an offer.
Approach this process with a cool head and a realistic perspective of your marketplace. The three basic components of an offer are price, terms, and contingencies.
The right price to offer must fairly reflect the true market value of the home you want to buy. Your agent’s market research will guide this decision. Other financial and timing factors are terms that will be included in the offer.
Schedule-a schedule of events that happen before closing.
Conveyances-the items that stay with the house when the sellers leave.
Closing costs-it’s standard for buyers to pay their closing costs, but if you want to roll the costs into the loan, you need to write that into the contract.
Home warranty-this helps to cover repairs or replacement of appliances and major systems. You may ask the seller to pay for this.
Option Period– the option period is the time set aside for the buyer to complete their due diligence.
Earnest money-this protects the sellers from the possibility of your unexpectedly pulling of the deal and makes a statement about the seriousness of your offer.
6. Perform due diligence.
Unlike most major purchases, there is not a return policy that comes with a home purchase. That’s why home owner’s insurance and property inspections are so important.
A home owner’s insurance policy protects you in two ways. It will protect you against loss or damage to the property itself and liability in case someone sustains an injury while on your property
Ideally, the property inspection should expose any issues a home might hide so you know exactly what you’re getting into before you sign your closing papers. The major concern is structural damage. Don’t sweat the small stuff. If you have a big problem show up in your inspection report, you should bring in a specialist.
The final stage of the home buying process is the lender’s confirmation of the home’s worth and your continued credit-worthiness. This entails a survey, appraisal, title search, and a final check of your credit and finances.
Your preclosing responsibilities:
Stay in control of your finances.
Return all phone calls and paperwork promptly.
Communicate with your agent at least once a week.
Before closing, confirm with your agent that all your documentation is in place and in order.
Obtain certified funds for closing.
Conduct a final walk-through.
Finally, you’ll sign documents that confirm you are the new homeowner on closing day.
Finalize your mortgage.
Pay the seller.
Pay your closing costs.
Transfer the title from the seller to you.
Make arrangements to legally record the transaction as a public record.
Because your expectations are clear and you follow directions, closing should be simple conclusion to your home-search process.
8. Protect your investment.
Throughout the course of your home-buying experience, you’ve probably spent a lot of time with your real estate agent . Hopefully, you now know each other fairly well. Therefore, there is no reason to throw all that trust and rapport out the window just because the deal has closed.
After you close on your house, you agent can still help you:
Provide information for your tax return as a homeowner.
Find contractors to help with home maintenance or remodeling.
Help your friends find homes.
Keep track of your home’s current market value.
Fun Facts about Frisco that you may not know
- Frisco has received the designation “Tree City USA” by the National Arbor Day Foundation
- Frisco is No. 1 on the list of Best Places for Young Families in Texas
- Median Household Income: $106,232
- Median Family Income: $109,379
- Frisco is located in two counties: Collin and Denton.
- Frisco is 62 square miles.
- The Dr Pepper Ballpark, a 10,600-seat baseball stadium where The Texas League AA minor league baseball team Frisco RoughRiders, a minor league affiliate of the Texas Rangers, play.
- The Dallas Cowboys will move their corporate headquarters to Frisco in time for the 2016 NFL football season. The 91 acre complex will be located on the corner of the N. Dallas Tollway and Warren Parkway. It will feature state of the art training facilities and practice fields, a luxury hotel, high-end retail shopping and restaurants, and a 12,000 seat indoor stadium.
- The Dallas Stars NHL team is headquartered in Frisco, and the team practices at the Dr Pepper Arena there. The Texas Tornado of the North American Hockey League have been based in Frisco since the fall of 2003, and shortly afterward the NAHL moved its main offices to Frisco. The Tornado play their games at the Dr Pepper Arena.
- Frisco is home of the Superdrome, an outdoor velodrome. Frisco also has an Olympic size state-of-the-art natatorium . Frisco has over 150 outdoor sculptures56 miles of hiking and biking trails and 43 parks
- Frisco’s population grew 247 percent between 2000 and 2009 and income growth is 10% above the state’s rate. Frisco was the fasting growing city in America for the past decade. Currently, Frisco is the 12th fasting growing city in America.
- Frisco just added its 100th traffic signal.
- Over 4.33 million people visit Frisco, Texas every year.
Here’s a video from the Frisco Economic Development Corporation about all that Frisco has to offer.
Check out other Fun Facts about the nearby cities of Allen, Plano and McKinney.