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Frequently Asked Questions

Do I really need a Realtor when buying a home?
When buying a home, yes, 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. Attempting to buy a home without a Realtor can really make the home buying process more difficult. The expertise a Realtor can bring to you in aiding your purchase of a home can be invaluable.
Should I talk with a bank before looking at homes?
The answer to the question is YES! There are tons of reasons why you should talk with a bank and get pre-approved before looking at homes. First and foremost, talking with a bank before looking at homes can help you understand exactly how much you can afford. If you’re a first time home buyer, talking with a bank before looking at homes is strongly suggested, as there are many first time home buyer programs available. These programs can vary from state to state and county to county, so knowing exactly what’s available to you, is critical. Your offer can also be more favorable to a seller if you have a pre-approval letter from a lender.
Should I buy or continue to rent?
Buying a home can be a very solid investment. This being said, renting can also be a better option for some, depending on the circumstances. A thorough review of the current interest rates and lender programs offered should be conducted with an agent to determine what is best for your situation.
I own a home, should I buy another before selling my current home?
There is truly no concrete "correct" answer to this question. There are pro’s and con’s to buying a home before selling your current home and the same can be said about selling your current home before buying another. The biggest 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 disappointment and heartbreak. If you are unable to purchase a new home without having to sell your current home, you’re purchase offer is going to be contingent upon sale and transfer of title of your current home. If your current home does not sell in a timely manner, this can lead to you getting "bumped" by a non-contingent buyer and you losing out on the home you’re looking to purchase, which can be devastating.
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Who pays the Realtor fees when buying a home?

One reason why buyers ask the question about the need of having a Realtor when buying a home is because they don’t understand who pays the Realtor fees when buying a home. There are no guarantees, however, in most cases the seller pays the buyers Realtor fees.
What is a foreclosure?
A foreclosure, sometimes referred to as a REO, is a property that is owned by a lender. If you’re considering the purchase of a foreclosure, it’s important to understand that most are sold "as-is." Foreclosures, if not purchased by an owner occupant, are often purchased by investors, fixed up, "flipped," and sold to a owner occupant.
How many homes should I look at before putting in a purchase offer?
This question is often asked and is a simple answer. The answer is, there is no specific number of homes you should look at before buying a home. Don’t feel that if you were to purchase the first home you look at that you’re making a mistake. Same can be said if it takes you looking at 25 homes.
How long does the seller have to respond to my offer?
There is not a standard answer to this question. A purchase offer will have a "life." The "life of the offer" can vary from 12 hours to 3 or 4 days. There are many circumstances that can effect the length of the "life of the offer." Your Realtor should know how long of a "life" to give to your offer. If you’re looking to purchase a home that is newly listed and the possibility of multiple offers exists, a shorter life is recommended. If the home you’re looking to purchase has been on the market for 3 months and the seller is located out of town, a 2 day "life" maybe necessary and/or recommended. You and your Realtor will specify the "life" in the offer.
How much should I offer the sellers?
When buying a home, you are the only one who can determine how much you should offer a seller. Certainly it’s recommended you ask for your Realtors expert advice and thoughts, but ultimately you are the only person who can determine how much you feel comfortable to offer.
What if my offer is rejected?
When a purchase offer is submitted to the seller there are generally four possible responses. The first is an accepted offer, the second is a counter offer, the third is a rejected offer, and the final is an offer that is not responded to. If your offer is rejected, meaning the seller says no and doesn’t counter, you have the right to place another offer. It’s not very common an offer is rejected or not responded to, unless a seller is offended by a low-ball offer.

What is an earnest money deposit?

An earnest money deposit is also frequently referred to as a good faith deposit. When a buyer purchases a home, they provide the seller’s real estate company a deposit to hold in their escrow account. The primary purpose of this deposit is to show a seller you are serious about purchasing their home. The amount that is deposited is subtracted from the final figure that a buyer pays at the closing table. In most cases, the larger the deposit, the stronger a purchase offer looks to a seller.
Do I have the option to have any inspections?
When buying a home, you have the option to perform several types of inspections. The purchase offer you write can be contingent upon a satisfactory home inspection, pest inspection, chimney inspection, radon test, and many other inspections. In most cases, it’s recommended that when buying a home, you at the bare minimum have a home inspection. There are home inspection findings that are more common than others, however, no two homes are the same so it’s a great idea to get the home inspected. Your lender will most likely require inspections as well.
What steps should I take to prepare my home for sale?
There are several things you need to know before listing your home for sale! Not properly preparing a home for sale can put a homeowner at a huge disadvantage. The expression "You never get a second chance to make a first impression" is absolutely true when it comes to selling a home. When selling a home you must be sure that your home presents itself in the best possible light. Making sure clutter is at a minimum, freshly painting rooms, installing new carpeting, or ensuring odors are non-existent are just a handful of things that should be done before listing your home for sale. A Realtor can walk through your home with you and make recommendations on how to best prepare your home for sale.
How do you determine how much my home is worth?
The most common method for determining the value of a home is by having a Realtor complete a comparative market analysis. A comparative market analysis is an in-depth evaluation of recently sold "comparable" homes in the past 6-12 months. A professionally completed "CMA" will take into account many features of not only a home but also the local area and neighborhood.
Should I price my home higher to leave room for negotiations?
This frequently asked question often leads to a common pricing mistake that sellers make. Many sellers believe they should price their home $5,000 higher than what a top Realtor suggests to leave room for negotiations and low-ball offers. A well-priced home will sell quickly and will sell for close to the listing price. There is no need to leave room for negotiations, as today’s home buyers are very well educated.
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