I agree with Michael. It should all be spelled out in the contract.
I agree with Vince. Big difference. In my opinion, the Zestimate is about as reliable as the old Magic 8 ball.
The market may be stabilizing in your area. This would cause an increase in the value of the homes you looked up recently.
There is no 'typical' down payment amount, although 20% down used to be the standard, and there's a large push to make it mandatory (although that's a long, hard battle away). Seller's typically want a letter of commitment from buyer's lender because the buyer is asking them to take the home off the market & stop showing it to anyone else. If they do this, only to find out 2 - 3 weeks later, that a buyer can't secure financing on the deal, they've lost 2 -3 weeks worth of marketing, showings, and potential sales, all because they didn't verify upfront that a lender might be willing to back this buyer financially. I think it's pretty standard practice (and should be) that a buyer provides some type of preapproval letter from a lender before they enter into a contract with a seller. As an agent, I often require it before I will show clients multiple properties. While most people are on the up and up, there are some that just want to 'window shop' and others don't really know what price range they can honestly afford. Having a preapproval letter from a lender upfront helps alleviate both of these problems.
The Zestimate carrys little to no weight in the real world. No trustworthy agent would ever use it as a source of value estimation.
A home inspection is no guarantee, but should give you a sense of what you might expect. The inspection should have told you how old the a/c unit was and what it's normal life expectancy was. Even if the a/c unit is within the normal life expectancy, there is no way to know for sure if it's going to break down or not. As for the roof, depending on how much access they had to the attic and the roof, they should have been able to give you a general overview of where the roof was at in terms of wear and when you should expect to have to replace it (approximately). In summary, a home inspection is done to give you an idea of what to expect. They won't catch everything, but a good inspection should at least put you on the path to knowing what to expect.The only way you might have some recourse is if the seller knew about problems with the home and didn't disclose them at the time of sale (or worse yet, intentionally hid them).
I wish you the best of luck, but chances are Zillow will do nothing about the problems you are having. For whatever reason, they are very slow to update and/or correct information that they profess to be attempting to share with the world.The one thing that I can tell you that will hopefully give you some peace of mind is that the Zestimates hold no weight whatsoever in the professional real estate industry. Agents and lenders never use these figures when valuing a property. If I'm working with a seller and they tell me their house is worth $XXX,XXX because Zillow said so, I sit them down, show them true comps, and explain why Zillow is useless in determining what a house is truly worth on the open market.I hope they fix the incorrect information for you, but if not, remember, it doesn't mean anything.
Normal, no. But the seller can ask for anything they want. They might have been burned before with financing falling through, and felt that if it was an all cash offer that it had a better chance of going through than an offer that needed financing might. Only the seller knows for sure, but that would be my guess.
One thing to remember when shopping around, the cheapest isn't always the best. Commissions are totally negotiable, although the agents that repeatedly discount their services may be trying to compensate for inefficiencies elsewhere. Shop around and ask for references.
Yes. And I would strongly suggest it. Seller will have the right to turn down the offer, but if the appraisal has come in lower than what the price the home is listed at, they will likely keep running into the same scenario down the road if they don't budge on the price.