Home Buying and Selling 101
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This 36 page, quick reference guide contains vital information about buying a home.
Frequently Asked Questions By Home Buyers
Here are some frequently asked questions by my clients in the home buying process.
1. Why do I need a Pre-Approval before I start looking for homes?
It's important to meet with a lender and determine what your "buying power" is before you start looking at homes. You don't want to look at homes in a price range you will not be able to get a loan for AND you may find that you can be in a higher price range than you thought. This step is crucial in your home buying process. You will also need to provide a copy of your preapproval letter with any offer we present to a seller. This shows you are strong and able buyer in the eyes of a seller.
2. Is an offer contingent on a home inspection(s)?
Yes, the purchase agreement has that wording in the contract and the options you have after we receive a written inspection report from a professional home inspector. I can assist you in providing a list of home inspectors if needed. We will go over all of these options when we write your offer.
3. What happens if I am in Multiple Offers?
If you really want this home, you will want to present your highest and best offer with a minimum amount of contingencies. You have no way of knowing what the other offers are. The seller may reject, accept or counter your offer. If it is a counter offer, you have the option of accepting, rejecting or countering the counter offer. I will help guide you through this process.
4. What is Earnest Money and what happens to it if the deal falls apart?
Earnest money is "good faith money" showing that you are a serious buyer. This amount will be applied and is part of your down payment. This is collected either at the time we write the offer or after we have an accepted contract. We may write in the contract "after home inspections." as another option. If the deal falls apart due to inability of getting financing or something on the home inspection, you the buyer, will get it back.
5. What is Down Payment?
These are funds that your lender will require you to have based on your particular loan product. There are different type of loans that require different down payment amounts. You and your lender will determine what is the BEST for you.
6. When do I get my keys and move it?
We will write a date on the contract, HOWEVER this date maybe negotiated or changed by the seller prior to finalizing the contract. Both you and the seller need to be in agreement on these dates in order for the contract to be a full and executed deal. Any changes on a contract need to be agreed and initialed by all parties. Please note that this date is the target date and we will do everything we can to have it happen on this date. Things can change along the way and it's possible this date may change. I will advise you along the way of any changes.
7. What are Closing Costs?
These are funds you need to provide that will cover the lender, title company and miscellaneous charges that are needed for your transaction. These funds are collected at the time you sign final documents? There are some costs that you will provide to your lender PRIOR to your signing final documents, such as the cost of the appraisal. The lender needs to have an appraisal done to make sure the home is at the value of your offer. This cost is part of your closing costs.
8. What does it mean to ask the seller to pay my closing costs?
You can ask the seller to pay your closing costs, however if you do this you will need to factor that amount into your initial offer. This can be a win-win situation for you and the seller. If the seller agrees to pay these costs for you, this is less money out of your pocket. Here is an example:
Your feel the home is worth $100,000 and you feel this is fair value to the seller. If you are paying your OWN closing costs... we will write the offer at $100,000
If you are asking the seller to pay $3,000 of your closing costs, your offer to the seller would be $103,000. Seller is getting the $100,000 and you have $3,000 less to bring to the closing table. In other words you are financing the $3,000 in your loan amount. I will explain this in more depth when we write an offer.
9. How do I get Utilities in my name?
Once we know the possession date for SURE, you will call the utility companies and tell them the date you are taking possession and the seller will call to get their final reads. I will provide you with these numbers.
10. Can I look at For Sale By Owners?
Yes, however please provide me with the address and any contact information so I can contact the owner to set up a showing time and to also see if he or she is WILLING to work with a buyer's agent. MOST For Sale By Owners are happy to work with a realtor. It's important that I reach out first as I might not be able to assist you if this becomes the home you want to purchase.
Please check back later as I will continue to add more of these questions. I hope this is helpful!