Common Questions

  1. What’s the difference between an appraisal and an assessment?

    An appraisal evaluates your home for its market value – it’s something you or the buyer will need to pay for and is performed to ensure that the property’s appraised value is in line with its purchase price. By comparison, an assessment is something done by your local or county property tax assessor, to determine the value of your property on the tax rolls. Your assessment may not reflect recent improvements you’ve made to your home, in which case you may want to have an appraisal done to reflect the current value.

  2. What is a contingency?

    A contingency is a provision included in a sales contract stating that certain events must occur or certain conditions must be met before the contract is valid.

  3. I’m moving in from out of state – can you help me find a good home?

    Absolutely! We enjoy educating people about the Treasure Valley, we even offer a complimentary tour of the area to help you narrow down your search to a particular city, area or neighborhood. We work with a number of systems and can help you find a home based on general style, square footage, number of bedrooms and baths, specific features and many other options. Contact us for more details.

  4. How do I determine the price of my property?

    We can help by providing you a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA), which is a report based on similar properties (or comparables) that have sold, are pending or are currently active in your neighborhood. Contact us for a free no-obligation market analysis of your property.

  5. What are comparables or comps?

    These are referred to as recently active, pending or sold properties (recently sold have the most weight) that are similar in size, location and amenities to the home for sale.  These properties help an appraiser, agent or broker to provide an opinion on the fair market value of a property.

  6. Is a home inspection really necessary?

    Homes, like cars, require maintenance. You don’t want to purchase a home and then realize that the roof, electrical service or plumbing needs to be replaced after the closing is done. A home inspection helps protect you from those situations and gives you a negotiating point for repairs to be completed before or after closing.

  7. I need my home to sell quickly, can you help me stage it?

    We have strong working relationships with several staging companies and would be happy to setup a meeting with a staging consultant.  Staging services can vary quite a bit, from obtaining advice on how to organize or rearrange your own furnishings to comprhensive whole-house staging of furniture, art and decorations.  During our listing presentation we will discuss staging options with you and let you decide what the best route might be for your situation.

  8. I’ve never bought a home before. Where do I start?

    Investing in a home is a great way to invest in your future. Consider your budget and credit – how much home can you afford? Think about personal style and what that means for the type of home you want. Are you growing your family? Consider future needs. Once you know what you need and what you want, contact us and we’ll help you find your new home.

  9. I’m getting ready to retire and move out of state. What home improvements will yield the most benefit?

    Though it’s hard to determine exactly what the market will do, there are some improvements that regularly pay off. Kitchen and bath improvements often have good benefit. Improving any aging systems, such as electrical, plumbing, roofing or HVAC also pays off in the long run.  Of course each home is different as far as value of improvements and will somewhat depend on the standards of your general neighborhood.  Buyers looking in specific neighborhoods or areas generally come to expect certain amenities and/or upgrades that are at aleast consistent with most homes in the area. 

  10. What is a Multiple Listing Service (MLS)?

    A Multiple Listing Service (MLS) is a computerized listing of the homes for sale in an area, generally listed with a real estate brokerage firm.  Agents are granted access to the MLS and can use it to find a house with specific criteria and in a certain area or neighborhood.  For the Treasure Valley, the designated multiple listing service is Intermountain MLS.

  11. How do I hire a contractor to perform work on my home?                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Most people rely on referrals when hiring a contrator, but even in a referral situation you should conduct a background check. Check with the state board of contractors to see if any complaints have been filed with the contractor. You can also check with the Better Business Bureau. Next you’ll want to interview a contractor(s); we recommend that you interview at least three separate contractors and request written bids to perform work.  Ask each contractor if they carry worker’s compensation benefits as well as an umbrella general liability policy.  If contractors do not have coverage, you could be responsible for work injuries incurred on your property. Further, obtain the policy number, insurance company name and phone number to verify coverage. Take your time while making this important decision.                                                                                                                                                                                             
  12. What if I have other questions about the sale or purchase process?

    Contact us! We’ve helped hundreds of home owners over the years and we’d be delighted to help you.