Home & Leisure

House Calls: More Reader Comments on Home Staging

Consumer / Edith Lank /

Readers are still sending in comments about the rant from a seller who resented trying to live in her professionally staged home while it was on the market. Some sellers agree, but say that staging is worth the discomfort. Some sellers disagree. And at least one reader evidently misread the letter.

Resenting 'Nasty' Answer

Ms. Lank: How...Read more

House Calls: Understand the Difference Between Decorating and Staging

Consumer / Edith Lank /

A few weeks ago, a reader wrote in with what she called a rant -- an account of the "grief" she and her husband felt after their real estate broker staged their longtime home to put it on the market. She couldn't believe buyers would rather see a house in which she and her husband were "imprisoned." Their home felt "totally strange, ...Read more

House Calls: Absentee Real Estate Investment

Consumer / Edith Lank /

Dear Ms. Lank: My son is interested in renting out his home, as he received a job offer in another state. Three years ago, I bought your book, "The Home Buyer's Kit," to help him. Does this book have current information for landlords, or do you have another that would guide us? -- J. L.

Answer: Your note made my day! I am flattered that you ...Read more

House Calls: Leave During Open House

Consumer / Edith Lank /

Dear Mrs. Lank: Our Realtor listed our house two weeks ago and now she is planning to have an open house next weekend. She has asked us to leave the house and go somewhere for those three hours. She says it will work better. We're not sure, is this usual? -- F. I.

Answer: Of course you're curious to see who comes to see your home, but the agent...Read more

House Calls: Answering a Purchase Offer: Yes, No or Maybe

Consumer / Edith Lank /

Ms. Lank: If you could answer me today that would be helpful. We are selling our home ourselves, and we got an offer this morning that is $8,000 less than we are asking. It's only good for 48 hours. My wife isn't sure about it. Can you discuss our options? We need advice right away. -- K. R.

Answer: First of all, we'll assume that this is a ...Read more

House Calls: Selling Out of State

Consumer / Edith Lank /

Ms. Lank: I recently read one of your columns in the paper. R and M.T. wrote that they inherited a property in a different state and wanted to sell it. They were being bothered with correspondences from people they thought wanted to buy the property. I think they would be amazed at how good the Realtors are there. We're from Maryland, and our ...Read more

House Calls: Buying at 70

Consumer / Edith Lank /

Dear Edith: What do you think of an older person buying a house or a condo? I'll be 70 this year. I am single, and I have excellent credit. I've been looking for an apartment, and landlords seem to really jack up the prices, at lease this time of year. I pay $1,100 a month, so I think I can afford a mortgage. Thanks for your thoughts. -- M.

...Read more

House Calls: No Broker Involved

Consumer / Edith Lank /

Ms. Lank: I have a family member who would like to buy my senior parents' home in a closed sale (without a real estate agent) to avoid commissions. What are the pros and cons of such an arrangement? I'm a little weary of not including an experienced professional. Thank you. -- W.

Answer: Both parties can take appropriate precautions, and there'...Read more

House Calls: Paid-Off Mortgage

Consumer / Edith Lank /

Ms. Lank: Once we have paid off our mortgage, how long should we wait to get a clear deed? -- K. F.

Answer: In a few states, you're looking for a reconveyance deed, but in most places, what you want is a certificate of satisfaction. Either way, it will prove your loan has been paid off in full (satisfied).

If the lender has put this new ...Read more

House Calls: Oral Vs. Written Commitment

Consumer / Edith Lank /

Dear Edith: I have applied for a mortgage loan to buy a house. I have been told by the loan counselor that I qualified for the loan. Should I ask for a written commitment, or do you think that an oral commitment suffices? -- G. H.

Answer: What you have is the counselor's personal opinion, based on the information you furnished when you applied ...Read more

House Calls: Bank Gets Appraisal

Consumer / Edith Lank /

Dear Edith: When we applied for a mortgage, the bank charged us for an appraisal. They said it was so they'd know how much it was safe to lend us. As the new owners of the house, we would like to see that appraisal. They say we can't. But we paid for it. Do we have the right to see it? -- L.R.

Answer: When you apply for a loan, you pay for an ...Read more

House Calls: Coordinating the Move

Consumer / Edith Lank /

Dear Edith: Please give me an idea of how to coordinate the sale of my present home with the move-in date for my new home. We have a tentative date of August 2019 for the new house's completion. -- M. H.

Answer: Real estate brokers can help dovetail the two transactions. If you don't already know which firm you'll use to market your present ...Read more


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