Browsing Category Stupid Real Estate Questions – AKA: What are the questions you think you should know but have never asked?

Frequently Asked Real Estate Questions

Who Are the Players in a Real Estate Transaction?

Who are the Players?  I have written about the value in assembling the A-Team and I’ve detailed those who touch your loan. I’ve advocated vigorously for using local lenders (here are two). But Who are the players involved in the transaction/real estate…

Read More

What’s a Kickout Clause?

Before Mom Calls For Dinner

From time to time, I’ll see a house that’s still active on the market (I showed one on Wednesday in fact) but is under contract with a kick out clause. Right now, there are 6 such instances out of 1764 active listings in the Charlottesville MSA and MLS.

What’s a Kick out Clause?

A kick out clause is a chance for the seller and buyer to have their respective cakes and eat them, too.

Or, when a buyer wants to buy a home but hasn’t yet sold their current home, and the seller wants to accept the offer but not fully remove the home from the market.

If a house is under contract with a kick out clause, that means it’s under contract but the buyer most likely has a home sale contingency. If another buyer were to come along with an offer the seller wanted to accept, the seller would accept the second offer, subject to the first offer’s termination and give the buyer notice and give them 48 hours or so to remove their home sale contingency. If the buyer chooses to not remove the contingency (most likely because they cannot) the seller could kick out the first offer and accept the second one.

Seller’s happy, second buyer is happy, first buyer notsomuch.

Read More

What is “Usual and Customary” in Charlottesville? – Part 1

Question Mark Graffiti

Part 1 of 2.

What’s “normal” in your market may not be (and probably isn’t) normal in the Charlottesville real estate market.

So what’s “normal” in the Charlottesville real estate market? It’s a question that’s asked of me by buyers coming from other markets (agents, too) and sellers who haven’t sold a house before (or for many years). Note: what you see on HGTV is not what is “usual and customary” in the Charlottesville market. (or any market on Planet Earth).

“Usual and customary” is always changing. Radon inspections weren’t “usual and customary” a couple years ago; now they are. Heck, buyer agency wasn’t usual and customary 15 years ago.

Tina, a colleague in the Nest Blacksburg office, asked a few questions and naturally I felt the answers would be well-served to be posted here, particularly for buyers moving to the Charlottesville area and for sellers who may be moving to other market and not have relevant experience selling a home in our market. Answers are mine.

Q: Do agents use a standard contract? If so, is it the VAR (Virginia Association of Realtors) contract, one provided by your Realtor Association, or a combination of both?

A: Most Realtors in the Charlottesville area use the VAR contract for almost all of our forms, including home inspection, radon etc. We tend to craft specific addenda as needed.

Read More

Difference Between Clients and Customers

Question: What’s the difference between a real estate client and a real estate customer?

Answer: Quite a bit.

I was with a a customer a few weeks ago and and we had an interesting conversation about the differences between a customer and a client.

Some basic definitions from the Code of Virginia:

“Customer” means a person who has not entered into a brokerage relationship with a licensee but for whom a licensee performs ministerial acts in a real estate transaction. Unless a licensee enters into a brokerage relationship with such person, it shall be presumed that such person is a customer of the licensee rather than a client.

“Client” means a person who has entered into a brokerage relationship with a licensee.

“Licensee” means real estate brokers and salespersons as defined in Article 1 (§ 54.1-2100 et seq.) of Chapter 21 of this title.

“Ministerial acts” means those routine acts which a licensee can perform for a person which do not involve discretion or the exercise of the licensee’s own judgment. (bolding mine)

If I meet you at one of my listings, I will explain to you that I don’t do single agent dual agency. (Guess who benefits from single agent dual agency?)


Read More