When Is an Earnest Money Check Supposed to Be Cashed?

AndreyPopov/iStock In the real estate market, the earnest money check is one of the essential ways buyers prove they’re serious to sellers. It’s a substantial chunk of change that will be included with your offer to the seller to further prove that you are really serious about buying the seller’s house. But once an offer is accepted, what happens with said earnest money? Does it sit […]

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Zoinks! 6 Ways Home Buyers Scare Off Sellers

gerenme/iStock; Watcom/iStock; realtor.com Once you’ve found a home you’re dying to buy, you want things to move forward. And that means that sellers need to accept your offer already! But in order for that to happen—particularly in blazing-hot markets where sellers have their pick among offers—you have to convince the sellers that you’re worthy. And you can’t […]

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Should You Go Big With Your First House or Stick to a Starter Home?

AndreyPopov/iStock; realtor.com For a majority of people, buying your first home is financially daunting. Beyond the paperwork and negotiating, there’s that big mortgage looming. Taking on such a substantial financial responsibility is enough to leave you wondering if you can even afford it. And if you’ve figured out that you can, there’s still the question […]

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7 Tips on How to Find a Good Real Estate Agent

sturti/iStock Whether you’re buying or selling a house, understanding how to find a good real estate agent is essential. Your agent will help you through all steps of the process and answer the myriad technical, tactical, and financial questions that arise, so you don’t have to waste hours Googling into the abyss. A good real estate agent will also […]

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Do Home Seekers Need to Sign a Contract to Tour Homes?

AndreyPopov/iStock It’s human nature for folks to want to sneak a peek at their neighbor’s open house—even if they’re not truly home seekers looking to buy. Trust us, stopping by to grab a cookie and gawk is something we’ve all done (or at least thought about doing). Casual lookers can wander in without so much as leaving their […]

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House-Flipping Horror Stories That Will Make You Very, Very Afraid

wildpixel/iStock These days, it seems like everyone wants to make a fortune flipping houses—and it’s not hard to see why. Reality TV makes rehabbing look like a fun, quick, and easy route to big, big profits. Reality check: As any pro can tell you, this is not always the case. To set the record straight, we asked industry […]

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Buying a Condemned House: Risks and Rewards for Bargain-Seeking Buyers

markhicksphotography/iStock While a condemned house might sound like the black sheep of the real estate industry, it doesn’t mean it’s any less desirable. In fact, you might want to consider buying one if the circumstances are right. “Condemned property is a property that the government has taken over from a private owner,” explains Desare Kohn-Laski, broker and owner of […]

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What Is a Brownstone? A Red-Hot Commodity in Real Estate—Here’s Why

realtor.com What is a brownstone? It’s a building made from, well, brownstone—a dark sandstone quarried primarily from New Jersey, Connecticut, and Maine. Since this stone is soft (at least as far as stones go) and easy to carve, it lends itself to ornate ornamentation that makes these homes highly sought-after real estate today. Brownstone is typically found in […]

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Was Your Offer to Buy a House Accepted If the Listing Disappears or Changes?

akurtz/iStock; realtor.com That seemingly endless waiting period when you’re on pins and needles to find out if your offer to buy a house has been accepted can be more than a bit stressful. In an ideal world, the seller would notify you within 24 hours if your offer is accepted, rejected, or being countered. In reality, getting word from the […]

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