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Frequently Asked Questions


What is Buyer Agency?
When I work with Buyers I act as their representative. You are assured of having me dedicated to working with you to get the lowest price and best terms possible on the property you want while protecting your interests. I will negotiate on your behalf. I have included copies of the documents �Definitions of Real Estate Brokerage Relationships� and the �Exclusive Right to Buy Contract� agreement, both approved by the Colorado Real Estate Commission. The agreement outlines what the Buyer is looking for, how long the agreement will be in effect and how I will be paid for my services. There is no up-front fee and my compensation comes from the proceeds of the sale. As your Buyer�s agents, I can show you any property listed in MLS (Multiple Listing Service). I can show you new homes and new home developments by area builders and I can show you for-sale-by-owners. Once I�ve found the right property, I�ll act as your advocate in negotiating on your behalf, I�ll provide you with advice and I�ll oversee the due diligence necessary to assure you that the property�s legal and physical condition as well as it�s value meet your requirements. Only when you�re assured will I close the contract. So, if you should see a new housing development, an ad in the paper or a sign in a yard � call me for complete property information. If you want to see it � I want to show it to you!
*With this information, a free, private web site will be setup for you that is updated three times per day.

How Do I Go About Finding the Right Home? House hunting is a logical process I have experienced over and over again. As you turn corners and discover new questions along the way, you can count on me for expert guidance. After determining how much home you can afford, I can begin to search for properties that meet your specific requirements. Square footage, geographic area, price, terms, number of bedrooms, number of bathrooms and type of parking or garage are just some of the many criteria I can use to search in the MLS on-line system. We will also want to watch for any �For Sale By Owners� (FSBOs) homes that might meet your needs. In addition, if new construction is something you might be interested in, I will tour new home subdivisions to get an idea of what is available. In the initial search I will look at all properties that meet your requirements. Study the printed MLS information and perhaps drive by. As you approach these homes, look at the condition of the roof, foundations, paint and landscaping. Observe the neighborhood�the condition of the other homes. Is the home on a busy street? Is there suitable parking? How close are schools, shopping, and entertainment? After this initial search, you�ll probably be able to narrow your search to just a few neighborhoods. A private, free web site will then be setup for you. When you see a property that�s appealing, please contact me to set a showing appointment. Don�t be surprised if the first home you see is the perfect one for you, and don�t be discouraged if none of those you visit the first day is what you want. I am committed to finding the one that you want to call �HOME� and will work diligently until we find it! For a more intimate impression, (after we have finished our tour) you may want to return and walk around the neighborhoods that looked attractive to you. Knock on the doors of neighbors and see how they like living in the neighborhood. Visit the schools your children will attend. Inspecting the neighborhood is as important as inspecting the homes you may buy. As we walk through homes, feel free to open cabinets and closets. If the appliances are to be included, check their condition. Most often the Sellers will be absent, but should they be present, they will understand your need to examine the home carefully. If the home appeals to you, make notes. It�s easy to forget details. Often there will be a brochure available for you to take along to help you recall the homes as you review your tour and I will provide you with copies of the MLS data sheets on the homes you are viewing.

What if I am Buying a Resale Home?
Homes with a past have a special appeal. Existing homes are a settled place; the foundation, the landscaping, the neighborhood, and the neighborhood services are probably where they are going to be for some time. An existing home has a lived-in look. The things to be looking out for are wear and tear items:
  • Is the foundation solid?
  • Are the windowsills, walls, floors and ceilings sound?
  • When and what kind of plumbing was installed?
  • What is the condition and extent of the electrical system?
  • What is the condition of the heating/cooling system?
  • What are the monthly utility costs?
  • How much insulation is there?
  • Should you want to, what will it cost to remodel and make necessary repairs (especially to kitchen and baths)?
All of these items will be thoroughly checked by your home inspector.

What If I am Buying a New Home?
New home construction is changing all the time, builders are trying to adapt designs to today�s lifestyles, incorporate new technology, building materials and equipment while keeping prices as affordable as possible. Buying a new home is attractive because everything is new. Energy efficiency is required by building codes. If the new home is under construction you can usually choose paint, carpet, etc. In a new home your maintenance costs should be minimal and the builder�s warranty usually guarantees against structural flaws. However, you�ll usually have additional costs such as landscaping (especially the rear yard), window coverings and some appliances. Some of the signs of good construction are: good carpentry (well fitted windows and molding, wood floors that do not squeak); solid structure; no cracks or damp spots in basement floors and walls; insulation that measures as advertised; everything in good working order (faucets, electrical, heating, etc.); a yard without low, wet spots, grading that slopes away from the house. A home inspector should be engaged to check new construction, too, especially during construction before any problems are covered up. I�ll be happy to refer you to a professional home inspector.

What is Title Insurance?
Most kinds of insurance are self-explanatory. They protect against losses from events that might occur in the future such as fire, theft or collision. Title insurance, however, is different. Title insurance protects against defects in title that may arise from events that occurred in the past. You should realize whenever you buy property, that the owner who is selling it to you has extremely strong rights, as do his family and heirs. Also, there may be others in addition to the owners who have rights in the property you are going to buy. These may be governmental bodies, contractors, or individuals who have unpaid claims against the property. Anyone who has such a claim is, in a sense, a part owner. The property may be sold to you without the party who has a claim knowing about the sale. And you may know nothing about such a claim at the time you buy. It doesn�t matter. These claims may remain attached to the real estate you have purchased. Will you get a clear title? It is of the greatest importance that you do. But this means that you must be informed about any of these claims against your property so that you can make certain they are cleared up before you buy. And that means that you must be protected against any undiscovered claims that may arise in the future to threaten your title and the possession of your property. Title insurance provides this twofold protection. You learn what claims there are against the property by a search of the public records. This is the first step the title insurance company takes in order to insure your title. Some of the things a title search uncovers are any unpaid taxes or mortgages; judgments against previous owners, easements, and any many other court actions or recorded documents, which can affect title to real estate. The title insurance company finds and reports such defects in title so that these matters can be corrected and cleared up

What are Surveys & Improvement Location Certificate?
The land survey plat includes a scale drawing of the boundaries of a parcel of land which is complied by a series of exact and precise linear and angular measurements taken from a known point of origin developed by mathematical principals of surveying. The purpose of the land survey plat is to determine, locate and or restore any real property boundaries. The land survey plat will also indicate any conflicting boundary evidence and any recorded and/or apparent rights-of-way or easements. The improvement survey plat is comprised of the same precise information as is the land survey plat mentioned above, and in addition indicates the location of all structure and improvements situated on the parcel of land. The improvement survey plat will also show visible encroachments. It will show any fences, hedges, or walls on or within two feet of both sides of all boundaries. The improvement survey plat will show the location of all visible above ground utilities, and all underground utilities for which there is visible surface evidence. The improvement location certificate is another method of describing and approximately locating a property, that is often required by lenders and insurance companies. It offers certain reasonable assurances regarding potential boundary or encroachment problems that may affect their interests. It also illustrates the location of improvements and conditions of the property. However, it is based on assumptions regarding boundary location and is not a precise survey. The improvement location certificate is typically used in the purchase of single family residential property located within the established subdivided urban and suburban areas of Colorado.

WHAT THE IMPROVEMENT LOCATION CERTIFICATE IS:
a. It is a representation of boundaries and improvements based on a surveyor's general knowledge of a given area.
b. It is a depiction of the property boundaries showing the size and shape of a parcel which is based on the legal description provided in the warranty deed.
c. It is a document that must be signed and sealed by a professional land surveyor who has certain professional responsibilities for its accuracy.
d. It is a representation of the location of improvements, encroachments and easements based on their relationship to a reasonable estimate of the location of property lines.

WHAT THE IMPROVEMENT LOCATION CERTIFICATE IS NOT:
a. It is not a survey.
b. It does not locate exact boundaries.
c. It does not establish property corners.
d. It is not to be legally relied upon for locations of property lines or future improvements.
Sometimes the improvement location certificate will indicate a possible encroachment or some other evidence of a boundary dispute. In this case, a true survey, (i.e. improvement survey plat or land survey plat) would be required to clarify or resolve any discrepancies.

Do You Need a Home Warranty?
The concept of a Home Warranty is simple enough. For a one time premium of $300-$500, which the buyer, seller, third party, or some combination can pay, a warranty provides one year of insurance. It generally covers major home systems (including electrical, air conditioning, heating and plumbing) and built in appliances (ovens, water heaters, and dishwashers are usually covered, but refrigerators usually aren�t). Under most warranties, a policyholder who has a problem with a covered item calls the warranty company, which sends a repair person from its own local network of contractors. The policyholder pays that contractor a service charge (usually $35-$50) for each visit, no matter how minor or extensive the work is. Most warranties don�t cover structural repairs such as the roof or foundation but such coverage may be available for an increased premium. The benefit of a warranty for buyers is peace of mind and protection from unexpected high repair costs during the first year of ownership. This can be especially valuable when purchasing an older property. *The cost of any repair or replacement is paid by the insurance company.

What is an Appraisal?

An appraisal is a step-by-step analysis undertaken by a professional appraiser for the purpose of accurately estimating an opinion of value. When a mortgage loan is made, the loan is secured by the real estate. Lenders want to be reasonably sure the amount of the loan does not exceed the value of the real estate. So the lender normally requires a professional appraiser to estimate the value of the property for the purpose of estimating market value. Buyer Asks: Will I Need Homeowner�s Insurance! Prior to closing, you will need to find an insurance company to provide homeowner�s insurance. A lender will require it but even if you are purchasing with cash, you should make sure that you have insurance to protect your investment. If you are purchasing a condo or townhouse, the Homeowner�s Association fee will cover hazard insurance but you should still check with your insurance company to determine the coverage you need for your contents and property inside the exterior walls To get the best value for your insurance dollar-read your policy so you know exactly what it covers and what to do if you have a loss. Inform your insurance representative of additions to your house and major purchases so that your insurance coverage can be kept up to date. For questions about homeowners insurance, you can contact the National Insurance Consumer Helpline at (800) 942-4242. Whether insurance is available can depend on the results of a CLUE report. This shows all claims made against a property in the proceeding five years. I can order a CLUE report for you. Buyer Asks: Do I need to hire a home inspector? Quite simply, �Yes�! A home inspector will investigate the plumbing, electrical, heating, roof and structural systems of the house. Usually the inspector arrives at the house an hour or two before your appointment during which time the inspector thoroughly reviews all of these systems. When you arrive, the inspector will take you back through the house, explaining how the various systems and appliances work and pointing out any problems the inspector has found. If you request it, the inspector will also test for the presence of radon. At the end of the inspection, you will receive a notebook containing all the inspector�s findings as well as information on how to properly maintain your home. The cost of such an inspection is usually $250-$300.

Seller Asks: Should You Provide a Home Warranty?
The concept of a Home Warranty is simple enough. For a one time premium of $300-$500, which the buyer, seller, third party, or some combination can pay, a warranty provides one year of insurance. It generally covers major home systems (including electrical, air conditioning, heating and plumbing) and built in appliances (ovens, water heaters, and dishwashers are usually covered, but refrigerators usually aren�t). Under most warranties, a policyholder who has a problem with a covered item calls the warranty company, which sends a repair person from its own local network of contractors. The policyholder pays that contractor a service charge (usually $35-$50) for each visit, no matter how minor or extensive the work is. Most warranties don�t cover structural repairs such as the roof or foundation but such coverage may be available for an increased premium. The benefit of a warranty for buyers is peace of mind and protection from unexpected high repair costs during the first year of ownership. This can be especially valuable when purchasing an older property.
*The cost of any repair or replacement is paid by the insurance company.