This is a short list of our most frequently asked questions. For more information about RealtySpace, or if you need support, please call oursupport center.

Are traditional auctioneers being pushed out of the market with the influx and success of online real estate auction Web sites?

The truth is quite the contrary. Traditional auctioneers are having rising sells. The unique services offered by traditional auctioneers ensure their survival in a changing world. Established auction companies have a solid network that supplies a steady pipeline of property to be sold. This network has been assembled over many years and thrives because of personal service, honesty, personal trust and proven marketing strategies.

The traditional auctioneer is not going to go the way of the dinosaur. And there are some very important reasons why not. Consider some of these unique characteristics of traditional auctioneers and these unique aspects of traditional auctions, aspects that will never be replaced by a keyboard, mouse and computer screen:

Advantages of Traditional Auctions over Online

Blending technology with traditional services

Auctioneers are not turning a blind eye to the opportunities of online auctions or to other opportunities of technology. Rather than being eradicated by technology, auctioneers are embracing it – taking the best of what modern technology has to offer and passing the benefits on to their clients. Professional auctioneers, who are in essence professional marketers, can truly offer all encompassing services to their clients by combining online opportunities with traditional services.

Auctioneers are using technology in a myriad of ways. As professional marketers, auctioneers are using technological tools at their disposal to do the best job possible for their clients. Many auctioneers have developed Web pages on which are listed upcoming auctions. In addition, Web pages are a place to learn more about the complete listing of items in upcoming auctions, and many times photographs are provided.

Auctioneers are developing e-mail lists and mailing lists off of Web pages, so potential bidders can receive upcoming auction information. Some auctioneers accept absentee bids via e-mail. Digital photographs can be provided to potential bidders. Some auctioneers are conducting live auctions broadcast on the Internet. Rather than turn completely to the Internet to sell, traditional auctioneers can use it to gather information, contact potential bidders and offer the best services to clients.

So, as the technology continues to change, traditional auctioneers and the auction industry will continue to adapt and change, but ultimately survive and prosper.

If you are from New York, Dallas, Los Angeles, you may not have heard a lot about real estate auctions. But here in the South they are becoming more and more the choice method of sale for certain types of properties.

10-15 years ago if you heard of an auction you immediately thought that it must be a foreclosure or distressed sale of some kind. That is simply not so anymore. Real estate auctions take place on many different types of properties:

The National Auctioneers Association reports extensive growth for the auction industry. Be sure to visit a real estate auction near you. Many times it is like a big community get-together. You never know who you will meet there.

What is a real estate auction?

A real estate auction is an innovative and effective method of selling real estate. It is an intense, accelerated real estate marketing process that involves the public sale of any property – most certainly including those that are nondistressed – through open cry, competitive bidding.

How will an auction benefit me?

The real estate auction is a win-win proposition for everyone involved.

Benefits to the Seller

Benefits to the Buyer

Many of your questions should focus on potential problems and maintenance issues. Does anything need to be replaced? What things require ongoing maintenance (e.g., paint, roof, HVAC, appliances, carpet)? Also ask about the house and neighborhood, focusing on quality of life issues. Be sure the seller’s or real estate agent’s answers are clear and complete. Ask questions until you understand all of the information they’ve given. Making a list of questions ahead of time will help you organize your thoughts and arrange all of the information you receive.

Earnest money is money put down to demonstrate your seriousness about buying a home. It must be substantial enough to demonstrate good faith and is usually between 1-5% of the purchase price (though the amount can vary with local customs and conditions). If your offer is accepted, the earnest money becomes part of your down payment or closing costs. If the offer is rejected, your money is returned to you. If you back out of a deal, you may forfeit the entire amount.

Listen to your real estate agent’s advice, but follow your own instincts on deciding a fair price. Calculating your offer should involve several factors: what homes sell for in the area, the home’s condition, how long it’s been on the market, financing terms, and the seller’s situation. By the time you’re ready to make an offer, you should have a good idea of what the home is worth and what you can afford. And, be prepared for give-and-take negotiation, which is very common when buying a home. The buyer and seller may often go back and forth until they can agree on a price.

Your real estate agent will assist you in making an offer, which will include the following information:

  • Complete legal description of the property
  • Amount of earnest money
  • Down payment and financing details
  • Proposed move-in date
  • Price you are offering
  • Proposed closing date
  • Length of time the offer is valid
  • Details of the deal

Remember that a sale commitment depends on negotiating a satisfactory contract with the seller, not just making an offer.

It’s not required, but it’s a good idea. Following the inspection, the home inspector will be able to answer questions about the report and any problem areas. This is also an opportunity to hear an objective opinion on the home you’d like to purchase and it is a good time to ask general, maintenance questions.

An inspector checks the safety of your potential new home. Home Inspectors focus especially on the structure, construction, and mechanical systems of the house and will make you aware of only repairs that are needed.
The Inspector does not evaluate whether or not you’re getting good value for your money. Generally, an inspector checks (and gives prices for repairs on): the electrical system, plumbing and waste disposal, the water heater, insulation and Ventilation, the HVAC system, water source and quality, the potential presence of pests, the foundation, doors, windows, ceilings, walls, floors, and roof. Be sure to hire a home inspector that is qualified and experienced.

It’s a good idea to have an inspection before you sign a written offer since, once the deal is closed, you’ve bought the house “as is.” Or, you may want to include an inspection clause in the offer when negotiating for a home. An inspection clause gives you an “out” on buying the house if serious problems are found or gives you the ability to renegotiate the purchase price if repairs are needed. An inspection clause can also specify that the seller must fix the problem(s) before you purchase the house.

There isn’t a set number of houses you should see before you decide. Visit as many as it takes to find the one you want. On average, homebuyers see 15 houses before choosing one. Just be sure to communicate often with your real estate agent about everything you’re looking for. It will help avoid wasting your time.

In addition to comparing the home to your minimum requirement and wish lists, you may want to consider the following:

  • Is there enough room for both the present and the future?
  • Are there enough bedrooms and bathrooms?
  • Is the home structurally sound?
  • Do the mechanical systems and appliances work?
  • Is the yard big enough?
  • Do you like the floor plan?
  • Will your furniture fit in the space? Is there enough storage space?
  • Imagine the home in good weather and bad – will you be happy with it year round?

Take your time and think carefully about each house you see. Ask your real estate agent to point out the pros and cons of each home from a professional standpoint.

The lender considers your debt-to-income ratio, which is a comparison of your gross (pre-tax) income to housing and non-housing expenses. Non-housing expenses include such long-term debts as car or student loan payments, alimony, or child support. The lender also considers cash available for down payment and closing costs, credit history, etc. when determining your maximum loan amount.

The two don’t really compare at all. The one advantage of renting is being generally free of most maintenance responsibilities. But by renting, you lose the chance to build equity, take advantage of tax benefits, and protect yourself against rent increases. Also, you may not be free to decorate without permission and may be at the mercy of the landlord for housing.

Owning a home has many benefits. When you make a mortgage payment, you are building equity. And that’s an investment. Owning a home also qualifies you for tax breaks that assist you in dealing with your new financial responsibilities- like insurance, real estate taxes, and upkeep- which can be substantial. But given the freedom, stability, and security of owning your own home, they are worth it.

You can find out by asking yourself some questions:

  • Do I have a steady source of income (usually a job)? Have I been employed on a regular basis for the last 2-3 years? Is my current income reliable?
  • Do I have a good record of paying my bills?
  • Do I have money saved for a down payment?
  • Do I have few outstanding debts, like car payments?
  • Do I have the ability to pay a mortgage every month, plus additional costs?

If you can answer “yes” to these questions, you are probably ready to buy your own home.