FAQ

 
1. Why do I need a REALTOR? Real Estate transactions involve one of the biggest financial investments most people experience in their lifetime. A typical purchase of a home requires approximately 20 signatures and the understanding of some 50 pages of contracts and forms with lots of fine print. You need someone to be there to help you decipher it all and give insight into this very important decision. Not to mention, to help you determine a price for your property, be familiar with zoning codes, schools, shopping, transportation and other pertinent information. REALTORS also can help you obtain a mortgage, determine buying power, inform you on down payment requirements, advise on escrow payment matters, property taxes, closing costs, utility bills, find out what benefits you might be able to get like first time buyer benefits or benefits for teachers, policemen, etc.. Your agent acts as the marketing coordinator, disbursing property to other real estate agents through a Multiple Listing Service or other cooperative marketing networks, open houses for agents, etc. Your real estate agent will know when, where and how to advertise your property to get you the best price, quickly and with minimum hassle. What if a cloud on the title is discovered, will you know what to do? The required paperwork alone is overwhelming for most buyers or sellers. The main advantage to using the services of a REALTOR is having the expertise of an experienced professional guiding you through the process, thereby saving yourself time and headaches They are familiar with the current market and know what buyers are looking for. Considering the small upside cost and the large downside risk of not using a REALTOR, it would be foolish to consider a deal in real estate without the professional assistance of a REALTOR.

2. Are there good and bad REALTORS? Are there good and bad doctors, you bet, and doctors go through years and years of schooling.  REALTORS only need to take a few courses offered online and take a test. Weekend courses are given that promise you will pass if you take them. It is experience that separates one REALTOR from another. Experience and excellent listening and communicating skills are essential for a top agent. Not every REALTOR has these skills. Here at JB Goodwin Realtors, we can steer you away from the intern towards the experienced doctor. We have a cohesive team of experts that always has your best interest in mind.

3. Why should I use JB Goodwin REALTORS? Choosing a real estate agent is one of the most important decisions you’ll make regarding your home sale or purchase. Why risk the most important financial decision of your life? Dan Realty along with JB Goodwin Realtors forms a team of experts around you unlike any other agency.  We help you through this complex process making sure you are comfortable 100% of the time.   We have been serving Central Texas for 40 years with tens of billions of dollars in transactions.  Our clients keep coming back and it is simply because we are extremely good at what we do.  Let us make a successful real estate transaction for you.

4. What is the difference betweeen Earnest Money and Option Money?  In Texas when you write a contract you usually end up cutting two checks; the earnest money and the option money.  One check is usually made to the title company where the money will be held in escrow and credited back to the buyer at the time of closing.  The check is basically the buyer’s way of saying, “We are earnestly going to do what it takes to buy this house.”  The option money typically buys you some time to do all of your due diligence on buying a particular home.  Although negotiable, the typical option time is 10-15 days and allows for such things as; inspections, securing financing, and making sure you have a good feel about the purchase.  Just as negotiable as the time frame is the dollar amount.  The option money is usually about 10% of the earnest money or less.  So if your earnest money is $1,500, your option money would be $150. 

Who Gets the Money?  Both the Option Fee and the Earnest Money checks go to the Title Company. Typically the Earnest Money is made out to the Title Company. and is not cashed till closing.  The Option Fee is usually made out to the seller and is deposited right away.  That is a fee you are paying for to have the option to inspect the home without other buyers trying to buy it.   The contract will stipulate if the option money will be applied to the sales price or not.  What people like about the option money is that since it is a lower number it is easier to walk away from if you decide to back out.  How this typically happens is if you find something on the inspector’s report that is worrisome you can back out and just lose the option money while getting the earnest money back.  If you go past the time that you have paid the option money for (option time) then you risk losing the earnest money.

DO YOU ALWAYS LOSE THE EARNEST MONEY?  Not always.  Rules and laws regarding earnest money are sometimes tricky and if you are about to get into an earnest money dispute CONSULT AN ATTORNEY.   We have an attorney in house if you wish to use ours.    

SHOULD YOU GIVE MORE IF YOU ARE IN A BIDDING WAR?  Some Realtors like their clients to give a larger amount if there are multiple bids, and this technique works pretty well.  Another technique to look at if there really is a bidding war is give the normal amount of earnest money, but give option money that is equal to roughly one month’s payment.  This way the seller truly knows you are going to try and buy the place, and if it doesn’t work out the seller now has next month’s payment covered.   

5. What is the deal about free UT Football Season Tickets?  Well they don’t call me Longhorn Dan for nothing.  When you buy or sell a house with Dan Realty we will give you 2 season tickets to UT Football or $500 in moving or maid services!!!
 
6. Can Dan Realty recommend a REALTOR anywhere in the U.S.?  Absolutely.  We have broker to broker referrals from our network of independent brokers throughout the United Sates and the world.  For the past 25 years we have been a part of Leading Real Estate Companies of the World and have nearly 600 member companies and over 150,000 associate agents. Last year, we sold more homes than any other referral network.  That is over $250 Billion dollars worth of homes.  
 

7.  Who pays your commission?  No need to worry about paying anything to your agent or the agent’s broker if you are a Buyer or a Tenant.  The only people who pay commissions are the Seller/Builder or in the case of a lease it would be the Landlord.

8. What is a Homestead Exemption?  A homestead is the house and land of a homeowner of which the head of household declares in writing to be the principal residence. It can be a separate structure, condominium or a manufactured home located on owned or leased land and can include up to 20 acres. So long as the homeowner owns the land, it can be used as a yard or for another purpose related to the residential use of the homestead.   

What is the benefit? In Texas, the homestead exemption allows a deduction equal to 20% of the house value on a principal residence. Basically, the exemption removes part of your home’s value from being taxed, ultimately lowering your property taxes. If your home were appraised for $200,000, you would qualify for a $40,000 exemption. You would pay taxes on the home as if it was worth $160,000. The benefit of the homestead exemption is a significant amount of savings.   Also, you only have to file it one time.

9. Can you handle Commercial Real Estate (Leases & Sales) as well as Income Property?  Dan Realty and JB Goodwin Realtors can handle both commercial and residential transactions.  We are very experienced when it comes to both these areas of real estate and would be happy to discuss with you either opportunity to show what we bring to the table.
 
10. What is Staging? The New American Heritage Dictionary defines the word ‘staging’ as the act of “exhibiting, presenting, or performing on, as if on a stage.” Think then about the staging of YOUR HOME for sale. What ways can we together work to best exhibit and present your home to the buyers who will come to view it. Let’s remember that first impressions can be lasting impressions.

First Impressions

  1. Trim and edge your lawn.
  2. Add some flowers and bark chips along the front walkways.
  3. How does the paint and condition of the front door look?
  4. Clean driveway grease spots and check if the garage door needs paint.
  5. Take a look at your home from the road and then walk through the front door. Are there any other changes you can make to set the stage?

Light

  1. LIGHT helps a home to look BIGGER and CHEERIER.
  2. Keep the shades open to let more light in.
  3. In dark hallways, entry ways and rooms, leave the LIGHTS ON, even in the daytime.
  4. Dark paneling, paint or wallpaper may need to be replaced on painted.
  5. Clean windows and especially clean sliding glass doors.

Space

  1. SHOW OFF all the SPACE that your home has.
  2. It’s time to pack up those closets and get ready to move. Let the buyers see how much closet space they will be buying.
  3. Now is the time to clean the garage. How about a garage sale? Too much furniture will make your rooms look small. Move some furniture to the garage if you have to.
  4. The KITCHEN is one of the most important rooms in the buyer’s buying decision. Is it CLEAN? Can you pack some things away to better demonstrate the counter and cabinet space?

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