Jersey Shore real estate service commonly asked questions

Here are some questions that many of our customers have in regards to selling or buying a home in New Jersey. Click on the BUYER or SELLER FAQ to view specific questions related to your needs.


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What is the difference between market value and appraised value?


The appraised value of a house is a certified appraiser's opinion of the worth of a home at a given point in time. Lenders require appraisals as part of the loan application process; fees range from $200 to $300. 
Market value is what price the house will bring at a given point in time. A comparative market analysis is an informal estimate of market value, based on sales of comparable properties, performed by a real estate agent or broker. Either an appraisal or a comparative market analysis is the most accurate way to determine what your home is worth.


How do you determine the value of a troubled property?


Buyers considering a foreclosure property should obtain as much information as possible from the lender, including the range of bids expected. 
It also is important to examine the property. If you are unable to get into a foreclosure property, check with surrounding neighbors about the property's condition. 
It also is possible to do your own cost comparison through researching comparable properties recorded at local county recorder's and assessor's offices, or through Internet sites specializing in property records.





How do I prepare the house for sale?


First and foremost, put it in the best condition possible, especially if you are in a market with few buyers and lots of homes for sale. That means taking care of any major repairs that could deter a buyer (such as replacing any broken windows or replacing a leaky roof) if you can afford it. Next, work on your home's curb appeal. Make sure your landscape is pristine. Mow the grass, clean up any debris and weed the garden beds. Plant a few annual flowers near the entrance or in pots to be placed by the door. Other quick fixes that don't cost a lot of money but can help you get top dollar for your home:

*  Clean the windows and make sure the paint is not chipped or flaking.
*  Be sure that the doorbell works.
*  Clean and freshen up rooms, furnishings, floors, walls and ceilings. Make sure that bathrooms and kitchens are spotless.
*  Organize closets.
*  Make sure the basic appliances and fixtures work. Replace leaky faucets and frayed cords.
*  Eliminate the source of any bad smells, such as the kitty box. Use air freshener or bake a batch of cookies before your open house to ensure that the house smells inviting.
*  Invest in a couple of vases of fresh flowers to place around the house and next to any information about the house you have prepared for buyers.



How long do bankruptcies and foreclosures stay on a credit report?


Bankruptcies and foreclosures can remain on a credit report for seven to 10 years. 
Some lenders will consider an borrower earlier if they have reestablished good credit. The circumstances surrounding the bankruptcy can also influence a lender's decision. For example, if you went through a bankruptcy because your employer had financial difficulties, a lender may be more sympathetic. If, however, you went through bankruptcy because you overextended personal credit lines and lived beyond your means, the lender probably will be less inclined to be flexible.



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