Buyer Q & A
Dear buyers, this one is for you.
Buying a home is a big deal, and a lot of times, there's quite a few questions we get regarding this process. But we have good news for you... we're here and we have the answers! This is actually one of our favorite things about our job! We love love love turning the unknowns into knowns for our buyers.
So today, were going to answer some of the most common questions that we get asked when it comes to buying a home.
QUESTION #1: WHERE DO I START??
When we get asked this question, we always tell people that the first step in this process is to GET PRE-APPROVED. This is something that is crucial if your goal is to buy a home. You can not pass go or collect $200 without doing this.
Now you may be asking, how do I do this and why is this so important for me?
As your trusty professionals, we can put you in good hands. We can connect you with the right people to make this happen. It's fairly easy and most of the time, simply involves a phone call and answering some questions! Simple enough right?
Now were going to tell you why this is so important. Essentially, unless you are buying with cash, you can not buy a home without getting pre-approved. Not only does it allow you to know the price range at which you can afford, but it also puts you in a position that ensures that when you find that home that is THE home, you won't miss out on it due to having to wait on a pre-approval.
You might be wondering, how could I completely miss out on a home while waiting for a pre-approval that happens in a matter of a few days max??
It happens. Especially with the market we are currently in. So trust the pros, and just do it.
QUESTION #2: How long does it take to buy a home?
From start to finish, the process can take about 10-12 weeks. You may start by searching online, or calling us and letting us do the searching for you. From here, you'll view homes until you fine THE ONE. The amount of time that this takes varies from person to person. You could look at 3 homes, or you could look at 30 homes before you find the one you're ready to take the next step on.
But boy oh boy, once you find it...this is where things get exciting...
Once your offer gets accepted, typically you become the home owner in 30-45 days. In this time, we will guide you through a series of events and then BAM! Its closing day, and the home is yours!
This brings us to our next question on the list...
QUESTION #3: How many houses should I look at before buying one?
This one is completely up to you! As we all know, shopping for a home is easier than ever before. The ability that we have to search for homes online and see pictures, even before setting a foot outside the comfort of your living room, has completely changed the game. But this doesn't necessarily mean that you're going to find a home overnight...
While being able to have every home at your fingertips is helpful and convenient (and helps you weed out the hard passes), nothing beats visiting a home to see how it looks and ‘feels’ in person. So again, the ball is in your court here. Look at as many, or as few homes as your buyer heart desires.
QUESTION #4: Am I ready to buy?
If this is something that is running through your mind, here are a few questions you should ask yourself:
- Do I have a steady job?
- Have I been steadily employed for the last two to three years?
- Is my current income reliable for the foreseeable future?
- Do I have a positive bill-paying history?
- Do I have few outstanding long-term debts, like car payments?
- Have I saved for a down payment?
Once you've answered these questions, ask yourself these next few: Can I afford to pay a mortgage taxes, utilities, and insurance? How long do you plan on staying in a home, if you were to purchase? If the answer is only a few years, it’s likely the better decision is to renting (if this seems confusing, give us a call and we can give you more information about why this is the case). Another question to ask yourself is whether you are ready to take on the additional “responsibilities” of owning a home. When owning a home there will be general home maintenance that should be done, are you ready for that?
If all of these questions get the green check mark, then you're ready to go!
If the answer to some of these questions is no, don't worry. We can help get you to the place where the answers can result in you being ready to buy a home!
QUESTION #5: How much do I need for a down payment?
This, my friend, depends. Depends on what, you ask?? The type of loan that you get, the lender's requirements, and the length of the loan. Typically though, you're pretty safe to expect somewhere from 5% to 20%.
QUESTION #6: How much do I pay an agent to help me buy a house?
If you are the buyer, little to nothing!
For most home sales, there are two real estate agents involved in the deal: one that represents the seller and another who represents the buyer.
Listing brokers represent sellers and charge a small fee to represent them and market the property and SELL IT. Marketing expenses can include anything from signs, Facebook ads, Instagram ads, Google ads, open houses, articles in the paper highlighting your home, flyers... you name it. The property will also be placed in the local multiple listing service (MLS), where other agents in the area will be able to search and find the home for sale. Not to mention, your home will be put on very popular home searching sites (Zillow, Trulia, Realtor.com), as a part of the marketing tactics and strategy that we know will help the home sell.
Agents who represent buyers (the buyer’s agent) are compensated by the listing broker for bringing home buyers to the table. When the home is sold, the listing broker (who works for the seller) splits the listing fee with the buyer’s agent. Therefore, buyers don’t pay their agents.
As agents, there are so many more really great questions that we get asked. If you have a question, but don't see it or the answer on this list... you know where to find us! Stop by our office, give us a call, or shoot us an email. We are more than happy to help you and answer any and all questions that you may have!