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What to Know About Contingency Offers

by Jane Fischer and Associates

In today’s blog post we are going to discuss contingency offers. During your search for a new home, you find that many have Contingent Offer statuses. It is important to understand what these are and whether or not you want to proceed with that particular property. Contingent offers are standard in real estate contracts. They mean that once an offer has been made by the buyer and accepted by the seller, the final sale is contingent upon a set of criteria. There are 3 major contingencies you will find: Home Inspection, Appraisal, and Mortgage. These contingencies allow the buyer to back out of the sale within a certain amount of time and regain their deposit if something goes wrong.



The one contingency that you almost always want to have is the home inspection contingency. This gives the buyer the right to have the home professionally inspected before the deal is finalized. A good inspection will find anything wrong with the house. When an issue is found, the buyer can ask the seller to fix it or back out of the sale.



The appraisal contingency means that the lender will hire a third party to evaluate the fair market value of the home. If the appraised value comes in less than the sale price, the buyer can back out of the deal. This helps protect the buyer from overpaying for a home. Here is an example. A home is selling for $250,000. Your loan covers 90% and you need to put down 10% upfront. The home is appraised for $215,000. The loan will now be for $193,500, covering 90% of the appraised value. This means instead of paying a down payment of $25,000 you now are expected to pay $56,500. If the seller will not lower the price based on the appraised value, the buyer can walk away and get their deposit back. In a market with a lot of competition, buyers might want to waive this contingency to be more appealing to the seller. However, realize that waiving this can be a risky move. You can always ask for a second appraisal and present the lender with evidence as to why the home is worth more. This might enable you to secure a loan for the full amount.



The mortgage contingency protects both the buyer and seller by ensuring that the proper finances are in place before getting into a sale. This contingency gives the buyer a certain period of time to obtain a loan that covers the mortgage. If a loan cannot be secured, the buyer can exit the sale with their deposit. This contingency can be easily avoided by knowing that you qualify as soon as you start the home buying process. Use our Loan Analysis tool to help find out what you can afford.


We hope this blog gave you a some helpful insights into contingency offers. However, we realize that you might still have some more questions. For more Home Buying Tips, give our experienced Team a call, visit our website, or check out our Facebook Page. We are here to help if you're considering Buying, Selling, or Investing in Real Estate in the North Iowa. Contact us today at 641-425-4900 or


Tips For Being A Successful Home Buyer!

by Jane Fischer and Associates

Home Buying in North IowaIn today’s blog post we are going to discuss tips for home buying success. Deciding to buy a new home is an exciting venture. And, there is no better place to buy than in North Iowa! Although January is not considered a hot real estate month, buyers can use the timing to their advantage. Less competition from other buyers and the potential for higher savings from sellers eager to close can help you be in your dream home before you know it. Ensure success during your own buying process! Look through the current Home Listings so we can help you begin your exciting journey, and follow these useful tips for being a successful home buyer!



Ensure buying success by teaming up with an experienced real estate agent. You will eliminate a majority of time and stress that can come with house hunting and buying by having someone else in your corner! Jane Fischer and Associates Team is here to help you every step of the way! We understand the North Iowa housing market, know what is currently available to fit your personal housing needs, and can negotiate the best deal for your new home! Learn more About Us in terms of our years of experience and our commitment to serving you!



Let sellers know that you are serious about buying by getting preapproval for a loan from a reputable lender. Having this information ready to present to the seller ensures them that you can afford their home. Learn the important steps of Obtaining a Mortgage. The initial step of preapproval is easy to get out of the way from the very beginning if you have a high credit score and savings.



We understand that buying a home is a major life decision. This can lead to overthinking the process, though. Know exactly what you are looking for from the very start. Prioritize the important factors, such as location, type, and price. Start your house hunting with a clear understanding of exactly what you need in a new home. Once you find a home that meets all of these needs, make an offer! While you should be diligient in your decision making, do not allow over analyzing to get in the way of making an offer. If you wait too long, you risk the chance of losing your dream home!



Always begin with a strong opening offer. In your initial planning stages, you should have set a budget for yourself and know the maximum that you are willing to pay for a home. We all always want to get the best deal possible but be respectiful of the needs of the seller as well. If you offer a price that is too low, you could miss out on your dream home. Ask your realtor for advice based on other homes on the market. Determine an opening offer that you care comfortable with and that will be appealing to the seller.



A bidding war between you and the seller is an added stress. However, do not go into the process with the mindset that you want to avoid this process at all cost. It could mean missing out on a great opportunity. Have a clear understanding of what you can afford and search for homes below your max budget. This will allow you more wiggle room should a bidding war ensue. Trust your realtor during the negotiation process as they are there to help you get the home for the best possible price.



Although we want to make sure you end up in the first home you fall in love with, realize that this might not always work out. If a deal falls through, use it as an opportunity to learn what went wrong with the transaction and avoid it for the next offer. There are so many incredible options in North Iowa that you will find another home to love...perhaps even more so! Just stay true to what you are looking for and let our team help you find it!

We hope this blog gave you a some helpful tips for becoming a succesful home buyer. However, we realize that you might still have some more questions. For more Home Buying Tips, give our experienced Team a call, visit our website, or check out our Facebook Page. We are here to help if you're considering Buying, Selling, or Investing in Real Estate in the North Iowa. Contact us today at 641-425-4900 or

Tips for Buying a Home with a Septic System

by Jane Fischer and Associates

Understanding where the waste from your home goes might be one of the least glamorous aspects of homeownership but it is of the utmost importance. Since many of the homes throughout North Iowa are located in rural areas, the homes have a septic system instead of a sewer line connection. A septic system works by collecting the waste water from a home’s kitchen and bathroom into a tank on the property. There are bacterias and compounds within the tank that help decompose the material and convert it into a harmless byproduct that can be eventually absorbed back into the ground. This is often a greener system than traditional sewer systems. Unfortunately, improperly maintained septic systems can lead to backups causing costly clean ups and dangerous contamination of the local soil. Buying a home with a septic system? Here is all the information you need to keep your septic system running properly for the health and comfort of you and your family!


Inspect the Septic System During the Home Inspection

Not all home inspectors have the right expertise when it comes to septic systems. If the home inspector you hire does not have experience in this area, hire a septic professional to inspect the systems operation as well as the land around it. This will ensure that it is already functioning properly and help you avoid any potential damage to your yard or, worse, your home!


Maintaining Your Home’s Septic System

You’ve ensured that the septic system is working properly upon buying your new home. Now, it’s time to make sure that you maintain it! Avoid putting any oils down your home’s drain and be sure to use a food disposal system to help prevent malfunctions and backups within the system. Add bacteria supplements to the tank by flashing a bacteria pack down the toilet based on the directions from the manufacturer. If your septic system has an electric pump, consider installing a backup battery and/or water level monitoring alarm for additional protection. All septic systems should be pumped out every 3 to 5 years, based on household usage, to help ensure continued functionality. In the unfortunate case that your system does backup, do not run any additional water into the drains, unless absolutely necessary, as this will just perpetuate the issue. Hire a professional septic system servicer to evaluate and repair the problem immediately.



Follow these helpful tips to keep the septic system within your new home operating properly! For more information regarding homes with septic systems in our area or for any other helpful homeowner tips, contact the Jane Fischer and Associates Team! We are here to help your through every step of the home buying process!  


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Jane Fischer & Associates
Real Estate Consultants
119 2nd Street NW #2
Mason City IA 50401
Cell: 641-425-4900
Office: 641-424-HOME (4663)

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