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Currently, I am working with one of my buyer clients purchasing a relocation listing. It isn't the same as a regular listing. If you happen to fall in love with a relocation listing, here are the 7 points I want you to be aware of. 

1. The homeowner is no longer the seller of the transaction. Okay, so who is the seller then? Instead of dealing with the original homeowner, the relocation company is the seller on the sales contract. The original homeowner pretty much has nothing to do with the listing at this point. The listing agent will forward all the negotiations and agreements to the relocation company. All the negotiations and agreements are done verbally. 

2. There will be no option period. So does it mean that the buyer can't inspect the property? No, the buyer can have a home inspection done within 10 days after the contract is executed. In case of any repairs, they must be put in writing for the relocation company's approval. Depending on the relocation company's policies, the repair allowance may vary. 

3. The seller's disclosure is blank. There will be 2 sets of seller's disclosures. The original homeowner is required to fill it out with her best knowledge of the property. The relocation company signs it as the buyer of the transaction. The second set is blank because the relocation company is the seller and it has no knowledge about the property. My buyer client needs to sign it and he is allowed to review the first set for information purpose only. 

4. Earnest money is more than 1%. Since it is a relocation listing, the relocation company can ask for whatever they want reasonably. In my case, the earnest money for my buyer client is 2% of the purchase price. 

5. All the required documents must be perfect. What I mean is that all the information, intials, signature fields must be correct. If there is one mistake on one of the documents, your buyer agent must have to redo the entire set of paperwork. It is simply because the relocation company wants everything to match, especially when it comes to the time stamps on all the paperwork if it is signed electronically. It can be more work for your agent and he/she may need extra time to go over all the documents before you review and sign them all. 

6. There will be more paperwork. Since the relocation company is the seller, it is no surprise to expect more paperwork for the transaction. Luckily, most of them are just for your information purpose only. You may not have to sign 100 pages of documents. 

7. It may take longer to close the transaction. Whether the buyer is going to pay for the property with cash and he/she totally expects to move in to the home in less than 3 weeks, there is a very great chance it wouldn't happen. Keep in mind that the paperwork will be forwarded to the listing agent. He/she will have to review everything. Depending on how busy the relocation company gets, it may take up to a week or so to get a reply from them. 

Well, now as a buyer, you know very well on what to expect when you are pursuing a relocation listing. My advice is to follow your agent's instructions and be very patient with everything. 



Whether you are a buyer or a seller, it is very important for both parties to pick the right title company for closing. At times, either one of the agents will select one. There are no rules or regulations that one must follow in order to select a title company. There are plenty of title companies everywhere here in Houston. So which one is the best and which one will actually do all the required work? The answer is no one is the best, really. But all the parties would prefer a title company that will actually do thier job 100% absolutely right. Remember that the title companies get paid by either the buyer or seller. No one wants to pay for bad services. Not try to be negative or to scare anyone but when things are done wrong, it will be extremely troublesome and lawsuits will follow all the parties who are involved. 

True story to share. It didn't happen to me but to one of my agent friends. She was the buyer agent in the transaction. Her buyer fell in love with an MLS listing. Everything looked fine and showing went superb. Buyer agent didn't really verify everything in depth and an offer was made to the seller. It got accepted and the buyer agent opened title immediately. The title company was a small one. Not sure who picked it to be exact. From the first day the title was open till closing, the buyer agent had never been told that something was fishy with the seller along with the deed by the title company. The buyer agent presumed everything was great. When it was time to close, her buyer was very excited to pick up the keys to his new home. Everything went through as planned. No worries. 

Years later, her buyer was trying to tear down the house and build a new one. And guess what, the buyer agent got a phone call from the buyer's lawyer. The deed was never registered in his name because the seller was a scam artist! The buyer agent was totally in shock. Oh my! My buyer agent friend did everything right, so how in the world could this really happen? Well, let's look at the entire picture. Someone didn't do the job right. Could the buyer agent be the blame? Not really. Technically speaking, the buyer agent should have verified everything. However, once the offer was submitted to the title company, it really was the title company's job to verify everything in depth before the closing actually happened. Although it wasn't really the buyer agent's fault, she still had to hire a lawyer to represent her in this lawsuit, unfortunately speaking. Long story short, the title company got sued by the buyer in the end. Because of due negligence, they had to pay the buyer for all the damages. In my opinion, that title company should get out of business as they never cared about their consumers. No surprise if they had more than one lawsuit pending. 

When it is time for you to close, please don't be hesitate to have a brief talk with your agent about selecting the right title company. It is your right as a consumer to ask questions before paying for the service you need. What do you have to lose in the end? Nothing. 



Okay. This topic might sound old and boring, but not in my book. On and off, I have buyers who refused to have a home inspection done these days. During the showing, the home seems fine, everything is in working condition, no issues, alright let's make an offer! The buyers are looking forward to bad news down the road owning their uninspected home. 

Years ago, I had this buyer client who thought that since the home was a new built, it should be okay to say NO to a home inspection. The builder seemed okay; he was able to show proof of paychecks to workers and nothing looked shady or out of line. The workers were on site doing their job daily. But again, who truly knew what happened behind the scene while the home was being built. My buyer client falsely believed that there should be no defects or issues in a new built. A year or 2 after the move-in, he started to notice different issues: flooring, plumbing, roof, etc. On his behalf or per his request, I wrote a complaint on Yelp. Noted that I had to help him contact the builder for repairs on numerous occasions. 

Here's what I wrote: 

For those who are currently looking to buy a new home out there in the Spring Branch area, PLEASE DO NOT BUY A HOUSE from Riverway Homes. I have just learned from my client that he is having major issues with the tile floor in the master and guest bathrooms upstairs. Whenever he walks on it, he hears cracking noises. Note that this house was built in December 2009. As of today, it is still a NEW house, considering the fact that it is only 1 year and 4 months old. If Riveryway has done an excellent job, the tile floor shouldn't be making cracking noises. During the first confrontation with Riverway this January (slightly after the warranty was over), they said that my client could hear the cracking noises because the house hasn't been settled yet. OK - Whatever!!! If that was the case, then the entire house would have been cracking, wouldn't it???? My client is no contractor, but he frequently watches DIY and HGTV, like the Vanilla Ice Project, Holmes on Homes, etc. He knows different things about tile flooring. Regardless of where the tile floor is located at, it if it is done appropriately, the cracking noises will NEVER happen!!!! Anyway, Riverway then reluctantly agreed to have their tile guys replaced those tiles that were making cracking noises. Guess what???? In less than a month, those tiles were cracking again!!! So my client called them and they checked them out again, and they then sent their tile guys out. Interestingly speaking, Riverway is always using different tile guys. On behalf of my client, I am at his house watching them removing all the tiles and grout. They told me that sub-floor is messed up!!! They showed me where the problem is: it wasn't nailed down correctly. If my client didn't speak up, Riverway will let the situation slide for sure. Although Riverway offers OK prices on their houses, it doesn't necessary mean they built great quality houses. If I were your realtor, I wouldn't recommend any of you to deal with Riverway Homes if you don't want any hassle in the future to come.

Well, I wasn't arguing with my buyer client about the defects and how the builder was very incompetent. But just think about this situation for a moment, he really should have a home inspection done back then. That way, in case if there were still issues come up anytime after the closing, the builder had no choice but to be totally reliable for all the issues, no exception. Even after the issues had been fixed, my buyer client could sue the builder for damages easily. Noted that there was no way he could sue the builder. No inspection report means no lawsuit for my buyer client. End of discussion. 

My buyer client is about to buy another home. And guess what, He learned from his lesson. He will say YES to a home inspection this time! Saving a couple hundred of bucks doesn't do him any good no matter what. Regardless of whether you are buying a new built or old home, having a home inspection done will save you all the hassles and trouble down the road! 


Knowing the 10 tips on buying a home is an excellent idea for first-time home buyers out there. In fact, the entire home-buying process can be very stressful and complicated without any informative pointers. As a result, energy, time and money can easily be wasted throughout the process. Therefore, the first-time home buyers will definitely find the following tips on buying a home very helpful.

  1. Know what you want. In order to buy a home, you must know your criteria of your ideal home such as the exact location, size, amenities, price and neighborhood. List these criteria on paper and be familiar with them. You will use this list over and over throughout the home-buying process.
  2. Conduct research. Before buying a home, you must find out what the real estate market has to offer. You can search through your local MLS listings, real estate classified, and home for sale magazines. You might have to modify your criteria if no matching listings for your ideal home can be found.
  3. Ask a trustworthy lender for assistance. If you need to finance your home, a lender will be part of your home-buying process. You must be very careful on which lender you have chosen to work with. A great lender will make the entire process hassle-free and secure when comes to any aspects of home financing such as getting your pre-approval letter, home appraisal procedures, locking the rates and fees and any updates.
  4. Work with a reliable real estate professional. Although you aren't required to have a realtor, it is strongly recommended you hire one. Having a realtor is no different than dealing with a great lender. The reason is a descent realtor will ensure your home-buying process is heading to the right direction by providing you information such as your offer updates, closing timeline and negotiations. You will be risking the process by not having one.
  5. Take notes. Regardless of how great your memory is, you will be getting plenty of information when buying a home. It is always wise to have a pen and paper handy throughout the entire process. You can never go wrong by writing down new information.
  6. Get a home inspection. If you have found your ideal home, don't forget to get the home inspected when making an offer. Many home buyers don't like to do so because it costs about a few hundred dollars for a home inspection. Buying a home without this procedure is like playing with fire because you might be buying a piece of junk and the repair(s) can be expensive in a long run.
  7. Review all the contracts. Signing contracts will always be part of the home-buying process. Don't sign contracts without reviewing them. You have the right not to sign any contracts if you find faults on them.
  8. Ask questions. It is normal that you will encounter many concerns when buying a home. Don't hesitate to bring them up! You are entitled to ask as many questions as you want since you are paying for the home.
  9. Put everything in writing. When buying a home, don't ever go by anyone's word. Everything must be documented on paper. email or letterhead. Remember that any verbal communications isn't legally binding.
  10. Keep records on everything. You must maintain all your paperwork from the home-buying process in case you need to settle something in court you will have all the evidence available. You should hang onto your paperwork until you put your home for sale.

Regardless of what kind of home buyer you are, knowing these ten questions to ask when buying a home will always tend to happen. Since the home buying process can be very complicated and troublesome, you can save plenty of energy, time and money by asking the right questions. The following guide will show you the ten questions to ask when buying a home.

  1. Is this the right home for you? Let's say you have found your ideal home. You want to confirm that you have no doubts or any second thoughts when buying a home. If you don't feel right after all, you should keep shopping for the right home.
  2. Are you paying the right price for the home? When it comes to buying a home, most of the home buyers love to get a good bargain. If you are getting help from your realtor, he can generate a home pricing comparison report for you. If you are dealing with a For Sale By Owner, you must figure out the right by researching for it on your own.
  3. Can you afford all the fees and expenses? When you become a home owner, paying for fees and expenses is unavoidable. Your taxes, HOA fees and any type of maintenance fees will increase as time goes by. If you will have trouble affording them down the road, you might not want to buy a home.
  4. What will be the value years from now? The purpose of buying a home is for you to live there on a short term since you plan to sell or rent it out later on. You should find out what the home will worth. Note that any home values can change depending on all kinds of factors.
  5. How safe is the neighborhood? The home that you are buying might be located in a nice neighborhood. However, you will never know what will happen in the future. Asking for any crime statistics reports from the police is a excellent idea since you will know what you are getting into.
  6. Should you get a home inspection? Getting a home inspection is a must as part of the home buying process. The down side is that you will be spending some money on the procedure. However, this few hundred of dollars will save you from buying a crappy home and wasting money for any repairs.
  7. Do you really need a realtor? Depending on your buying situation, you might need a realtor if you are buying a home from a real estate company's listing. You don't really need any representation if the home you are buying is a For Sale By Owner. Keep in mind that a realtor can ensure your home buying process will head to the right direction.
  8. Should you pay for the home by cash or a mortgage? If you have enough money on hand, buying a home with cash is a brilliant idea. You might be able to get a little discount on the home, plus you can forget all these closing costs when financing. Obviously, you will need a mortgage if you don't have enough cash to pay for your home.
  9. Should you keep renting instead of buying a home? Although buying a home sounds like a winner, don't forget it involves costs and expenses. If you have a realtor, ask him for an estimate HUD-1 Settlement Statement. You should compare all the pros and cons on renting versus buying in order to make the right decision. 
  10. Are there any home buyer programs available? If you are a first time home buyer, you might be able to qualify for certain first time home buyer programs. Nevertheless, you must meet their criteria and guidelines for qualifications. Same thing applies to any previous home buyers as there are programs for them as well.
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