Home Buying FAQ

Why should I buy instead of rent?

Would you rather pay someone else’s mortgage? If you have some savings and a good credit rating, then you are most likely able to buy a home. In some cases, it is actually cheaper to buy than to rent! Home buying is an investment. Over the long-term, your home is almost guaranteed to rise in value. Over all of this, you’ll love the feeling of having something that’s all yours.

How do I get pre-approved for a mortgage?

A quick visit to your mortgage professional will determine if you are eligible for a mortgage. Usually, pre-approvals can be done instantly with a quick credit check and background information. This step should be established before the start of your home search.

Why should I use a Realtor to buy?

All the details involved in home buying can be mind-boggling. A good real estate professional can guide you through the entire process and make the experience much easier. With immediate access to homes as soon as they’re out on the market, your Realtor can save you hours of wasted driving-around time. When it’s time to make an offer on a home, a Realtor can point out ways to structure your deal to save you money. He or she will guide you through the paperwork, recommend the help of other needed professionals, and be there to answer last-minute questions when you sign the final papers at closing.

Does it cost anything to enlist the help of a Realtor to buy?

Not a penny! The buyer’s Realtor is typically compensated by the seller’s Realtor for the property once a purchase has been made.

How much money will I have to come up with to buy a home?

Well, that depends on a number of factors, including the cost of the house and the type of mortgage you get. In general, you need to come up with enough money to cover three costs: the deposit you make on the home when you submit your offer, the home inspection, the down payment on your mortgage, and closing costs.

In addition to the mortgage payment, what other costs do I need to consider?

Well, of course you’ll have your monthly utilities. Your Realtor will be able to help you get information from the seller on how much utilities normally cost. In addition, you might have homeowner association or condo association dues. You’ll definitely have property taxes, and you also may have city or county taxes. Your Realtor will be able to help you anticipate these costs.

How many homes should I view before making an offer?

Typically, a motivated home buyer will view about ten properties or less before deciding to make an offer. Of course, this can number can vary.

How do I know what price to offer for a property?

Many factors come into play when deciding an offer price including the property’s sales history, comparable recent sales, the condition of the home, the length of time the home has been on the market, if there are multiple offers, and how much you really want the home. Your Realtor will recommend an offer price that will protect your best interests and give you your best chance to get your dream property. Keep in mind that the closer you are to the asking price, the more likely your offer will be accepted.

What happens in a multiple offer situation?

A multiple offer situation consists of a two or more Agreements of Purchase & Sale being submitted to the seller. In this case, you may have to offer more than the asking price for the seller to accept your offer. When competing with others for the same home, it comes down to how much you really want the property. The seller will normally ask you to submit your highest and best offer. Before doing so ask your self on a scale of 1-10 how much you like the property. Based on your response you will have an idea on how much you would like to offer.

What if my offer is rejected?

They often are but don’t let that stop you! Now you begin negotiating and your Realtor will help you. Often, negotiations on a home go back and forth several times before a deal is made. Just remember – don’t get so caught up in negotiations that you lose sight of what you really want and can afford.

What is the deposit and how much should it be?

When making an offer to buy real estate you generally include a deposit. This money lets the seller know that you are making an offer in good faith. In other words, you are serious about buying the property. Once you submit your deposit, your Realtor will place the money into a brokerage trust account. If the offer is accepted, your deposit will be applied to the down payment or closing costs. If your offer is not accepted, your money will be returned to you. The amount of your deposit money can vary but is usually around 1% of the property price. Ultimately, it is up to the buyer and seller to agree upon an amount that will satisfy both parties.

What happens to my deposit while I await closing?

Your deposit is held in the listing brokerage’s trust account until closing, when it is applied towards the purchase price of the property or closing costs.

What is an Sellers Real Property Disclosure?

A Seller Property Information Statement is an optional form that sellers can fill out when listing their homes. The seller warrants as to certain information pertaining to their home, such as their knowledge of any structural problems, details on mechanical systems, upgrades, and more. If you are interested in a specific property your Realtor can let you know if there is an SRPD available and send you a copy of it.

Do I really need to have a home inspection done?

While home inspections are optional, they are usually recommended as a condition before finalizing your home purchase. In some cases, the sellers might already have commissioned a recent home inspection by a reputable home inspector to save you the trouble. Your Realtor will help you determine on a case by case basis whether an inspection is recommended.

What does a home inspector do?

A home inspector will identify whether a home has any defects. This typically means that a home inspector must be fully aware of relevant local ordinances, such as frame construction, the electrical and plumbing systems, heating and cooling systems, and more.

How long should a closing take – how soon before I can move in?

Most closings are from 30-60 days from the date of acceptance of the offer but this can vary based on buyer & seller needs and other practical concerns. Your Realtor will help ensure a smooth process for you whether it’s a leisurely wait to move in or a quick closing.

What happens if I buy a house and the sellers don’t deliver on their promises?

Occasionally this happens and it is unfortunate. The course of action depends on what they have failed to deliver on. Your Realtor will contact the seller’s Realtor to ask them to rectify most problems. More serious issues often will involve your lawyer. Your Realtor will advocate on your behalf to help ensure you are compensated.

Sellers Real Property Disclosure