Buying real estate is exciting and frightening, all at the same time. One of the best ways to make sure the process is not devastating for a buyer is to be well educated and properly prepared for the process. When you are buying a home, remember: “There’s no such thing as a stupid question “Ask! Ask! Ask! Even if it is not your first house. Here are the top frequently asked questions from home buyers:

Frequently Asked Questions

The Mortgage Pre-Approval (Unless you are paying cash for a house) There are many reasons why you should get pre-approved before looking at homes. First and most significant, talking with a bank before looking at homes can help you understand exactly how much you can afford. In addition, if you are the first time homebuyer you can be eligible for many first time homebuyer assistant programs. They different from state to state, so knowing exactly what is available to you is critical. Another important reason to talk with a bank before looking at home is so you understand exactly what costs are associated with buying a home. Many people do not know the difference between a down payment, pre-paid items, and escrows, which can be thoroughly clarified by a mortgage professional.

The timeline for finding a house differs significantly from person to person. Once you find a house and have an accepted offer, it usually takes around 40 days to close.

Although there isn’t a specific minimum credit score required for a mortgage loan, it’s important to maximize your score before starting the home-buying process in order to qualify and secure the best mortgage rate. Government-backed mortgages like FHA loans typically have lower credit requirements than conventional fixed-rate loans and ARMs. A 620 credit score and up is recommended. As you are most likely aware, a higher credit score offers better lending terms. There are some lenders who will approve buyers with a 580 score, sometimes even lower. Your loan officer will be the best source to give you a current answer for today’s lending requirements.

Real Estate is a long-term solid investment. A 30-year FHA mortgage can be locked in at a rate of around 4.0% today. In the meantime, the interest rates are so low; it actually can be profitable to pay a mortgage right now than paying rent. Before you are going to start the process, you should ask yourself some questions. One is the most important, for how long are you going to leave in this house. If only a couple years, rent might be the better option for you. In addition, own the place takes more responsibilities and time. When owning a home there will be general home maintenance that should be done.

There is truly no “correct” answer to this question. There are advantages and disadvantages to buying a home before selling your present home and the same can be said about selling your current home before buying another. The main benefit to buying a home before selling your current home is the fact that you have a suitable property lined up. This can reduce the stress and pressure of having to find a home once your current home is sold. This however also can create frustration and suffering. If you are unable to purchase a new home without having to sell your current home, you are purchase offer is going to be contingent upon sale and transfer of title of your current home. If your existing home does not sell in a timely manner, this can lead to you being “bumped” by a non-contingent buyer and you losing out on the home you’re looking to purchase, which can be devastating. You are never know how long it takes to sell your current home. Selling your current home before buying a new home will put you in an ideal position to negotiate on the new home you are purchasing due to the fact you are purchasing without the sale contingency of your current home. One risk of selling your current home without buying a new home first is the chance of not being able to have a place to live. There are options if your current home sellers before buying another though. A “rent-back” can sometimes be discussed with the buyer of your current home. A “rent-back” would allow you to hold possession of your current home for a certain number of days after closing at the expense of paying the buyers mortgage. A “rent-back” allows extra time to find a new home.

One reason why buyers ask the question about the need of having a Realtor when buying a home is because they do not realize who pays the Realtor fees when buying a home. There are no guarantees; however, in most cases the seller pays the Realtor fees.

When buying a home, it’s strongly recommended you have a Realtor. There are many reasons why you should have a Realtor represent your best interests when buying a home. Keep in mind, all Realtors are not the same! When choosing a buyers agent, make sure you know how to properly interview prospective Realtors when buying a home. The seller pays the real estate commission, not the buyer, and real estate commissions are already set in the listing contract. It doesn’t cost you anything extra to have your own agent represent you because the seller is already paying for it.

If you don’t have your own agent, the seller’s agent will often represent both you and the seller as a “dual agent” or just represent the seller. This means the agent either has divided loyalties or is working for the seller, not you. In this situation, since there is only one agent to be paid, sometimes you can get a reduction in price by getting the agent to accept a lower commission from the seller. However, you have to realize that you are interfering in what is essentially an agreement between the agent and the seller — and something that has already been negotiated and agreed upon.

The seller can net the same gain on a lower price if they have to pay less commission. At the same time, the agent is not going to be willing to cut the commission totally in half because – since you don’t have an agent – they are going to be doing some of the work that your agent would normally be doing (whether you realize it or not). And you’d better know what you’re doing – because the listing agent isn’t going to be on your side. If your offer causes them to reduce their commission from what the seller has already agreed to — that agent isn’t going to be real happy with you.


Better Access/More Convenience

A real estate agent’s full-time job is to act as a liaison between buyers and sellers. This means that he or she will have easy access to all other properties listed by other agents. For example, if you are looking to buy a home, a real estate agent will track down homes that meet your criteria, get in touch with sellers’ agents and make appointments for you to view the homes. If you are buying on your own, you will have to play this telephone tag yourself. This may be especially difficult if you’re shopping for homes that are for sale by owner.

Similarly, if you are looking to sell your home yourself, you will have to solicit calls from interested parties, answer questions and make appointments. Negotiating Is Tricky Business

Many people don’t like the idea of doing a real estate deal through an agent and feel that direct negotiation between buyers and sellers is more transparent and allows the parties to better look after their own best interests. This is probably true–assuming that both the buyer and seller in a given transaction are reasonable people who are able to get along. Unfortunately, this isn’t always an easy relationship.

If you are working with an agent, you can express your contempt for the current owner’s decorating skills and rant about how much it’ll cost you to upgrade the home without insulting the owner. Your real estate agent can convey your concerns to the sellers’ agent. Acting as a messenger, the agent may be in a better position to negotiate a discount without ruffling the homeowner’s feathers.

A real estate agent can also play the “bad guy” in a transaction, preventing the bad blood between a buyer and seller that can kill a deal. Keep in mind that a seller can reject a potential buyer’s offer for any reason–including just because they hate his or her guts. An agent can help by speaking for you in tough transactions and smoothing things over to keep them from getting too personal. This can put you in a better position to get the house you want. The same is true for the seller, who can benefit from a hard-nosed real estate agent who will represent their interests without turning off potential buyers who want to niggle about the price.

Contracts Can Be Hard To Handle If you decide to buy or sell a home, the offer to purchase contract is there to protect you and ensure that you are able to back out of the deal if certain conditions aren’t met. For example, if you plan to buy a home with a mortgage but you fail to make financing one of the conditions of the sale–and you aren’t approved for the mortgage–you can lose your deposit on the home and could even be sued by the seller for failing to fulfill your end of the contract. An experienced real estate agent deals with the same contracts and conditions on a regular basis, and is familiar with which conditions should be used, when they can safely be removed and how to use the contract to protect you, whether you’re buying or selling your home.I am text block. Click edit button to change this text. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.

When buying a home, a common question home buyers have is regarding the neighborhood/area. As a real estate professional, there are rules against steering and providing personal insight into specific areas and neighborhoods. This doesn’t mean that your Realtor cannot provide you with tips to help you choose the right neighborhood when buying a home. Many buyers wonder about the growth of the local economy, crime statistics, taxes, and local amenities. If you have a top Realtor when buying a home, you should be able to receive all of the pertinent information to allow you to make an educated decision on areas and neighborhoods.

Making an offer on new construction is not the same as making an offer on a resale. Most of the time, the margin for profit is so small on new construction (per unit) that there is basically little or no negotiating. You can try, of course, because “everything in real estate is negotiable,” but do not expect too much.I am text block. Click edit button to change this text. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.

Everything in real estate is negotiable. However, banks are more sophisticated about pricing than they were years ago. So those “Get a great deal on a foreclosure!” days aren’t what they used to be. Lowball offers generally don’t go very far.