Top 10 Questions Asked by Buyers
Buying a home is one of the most important events in a person’s life. Whether it is your first home purchase or fifth home purchase, no question is too big or too small when preparing yourself to enter a real estate transaction! Below are the most commonly asked questions of home buyers in today’s market.
By Deanna Townsley
Sales Person 410-262-9976
- Do I need a real estate agent?
The answer is yes, yes, and always yes!!! Who wouldn’t want a skilled professional in their corner who has all their best interests at heart? Let’s be real folks, buying a home can be stressful. A good real estate agent can alleviate a lot of that stress by keeping you informed and educated throughout the entire home buying process.
- Do I need to speak with a mortgage lender first?
Let’s talk money! It is imperative to speak to a mortgage lender in the beginning of the home buying process. In a lot of cases people are pleasantly surprised at how much of a home they are able to afford. On the contrary, in a lot of cases some people can be disappointed in the amount of home they are able to afford. In either case education is the key. A good lender is going to be able to dissect your financial situation and educate you on how much of a purchase price you can afford, how much of a monthly payment you will have, and how much money you will need to put down in order to achieve this goal. Having this information will allow you to confidently pick a home of choice and enter into a sales contract. Being pre-approved can also be an asset to show the home buyers you’re serious and make putting a contract on a home easier in this sellers market.
- Do I need to have money saved?
Make no mistake about it-buying a home is a very big financial responsibility. In a lot of instances, the more money you have saved the better. However, that isn’t always the case for everyone. Like mentioned above, it is so very important to speak to a mortgage lender first. A great mortgage lender will be able to explain how much money you will need to put down for the loan program that best meets your needs.
- How long does the home buying process take?
Well how much time do you have…just kidding. Once you have entered a contract of sale the typical turn around time is 30-45 days. Keep in mind i might take longer when searching for your dream home. For some buyers, they may fall in love with the first home they see. For others, their criteria maybe tough. It may take them walking through 25+ homes before they decide on the perfect one. Regardless of how long or short your home buying process takes, keep in mind it’s an important journey.
- What are closing costs and how much are they?
Once you are under contract and settlement day is quickly approaching it is important to know what you are expected to bring to the table. “Closing costs” are they expense of buyers and sellers to get the deal closed. From a buyers perspective it includes line items such as loan origination, title work, recording and processing fees, property survey, taxes, insurance etc. It is safe to say closing costs can amount to 2-5% of the purchase price of the home.
- Why is this house for sale?
Although this is an important question, as a buyer try not to get hung up on this. People buy and sell homes for a plethora of different reasons. New job, family relocation, the need for more space, the want to down size, the desire to have more property, etc. This is where the need for an awesome real estate agent comes in. They should be communicating with the sellers agent to gather as much information pertaining to the sellers and the property as possible. Again, sometimes this answer is easy to obtain but sometimes not so much. It’s ok! What is more important is educating yourself on the property. Reviewing the documents the sellers have provided, researching transaction history for this property in the past, paying attention during the showing-don’t just focus on the trendy flooring they picked out for the kitchen-look for areas of concern or better yet signs of good home ownership. Use the showing as a learning experience and to get to know the property!
- What is this home worth?
It’s showtime for that fabulous real estate agent of yours! Sure, as a buyer it is great to do your research. But, this is what your agent does for a living. They spend countless hours every day researching properties and the real estate market. HAVE THEM EDUCATE YOU! Allow them to present you comparable properties that have sold or are currently on the market. Have them educate you on how competitive the market is in the area you are shopping in. Use all the information you soak in from your real estate agent to decide on your next move!
- How much should I offer?
Again, this is the time for your real estate agent to shine. Allow them to educate you! At the end of the day the price you decide to offer is clearly up to you as the buyer. Be sure to take into consideration all information passed onto you from your agent-comparable home sales in the neighborhood, possible competition from neighboring home sales, market trends for the area and time spent on the market. One important question to ask yourself-can I live without this property? If the answer is no, be prepared to give the sellers a fair offer that they can’t refuse!
- How long does it take a seller to respond?
Communication is key! While buying a house is a very important step in a person’s life, selling a house is equally important and stressful. The response times vary. Some sellers agents and clients are quick to respond. It could be as quick as a few hours. On the other hand some sellers agents and clients, like to take the time to make the right decision. Respectfully, it could take a few days for them to respond. While the waiting time can be torture, it is important that your real estate agent keeps close communication and follows up for any possible updates or questions the other party may have.
- Do I need a home inspection?
Like mentioned before buying a home is stressful. Get to know your property before you purchase it. Hire an experienced home inspector that can educate you on the home so you feel at ease knowing what you are buying going into settlement.
Congratulations on the beginning steps of home buying. There is no question too big or too small when it comes to this process. Remember education is key! The more you know about your financial situation and the property you decide to go with, the smoother and more enjoyable the transaction will be.
Happy house hunting!!!!!!