Buying a Home

Why should I hire a realtor?

A realtor is your advocate throughout the process. Any issues that arise, negotiations that need to happen will all be handled by a professional who has first hand industry knowledge.

How much will it cost me to use an agent to buy my home?

Home buyers pay little to no fees when buying a home. For most home sales, the listing brokers for the property charge a fee to the sellers of the home. That fee is split between the agents, therefore buyers agents are usually compensated by the listing broker.

What is a final walkthrough, and must I complete one?

A final walk through happens a few days before settlement or the day of settlement. This is your final chance to see the home, make sure that it is in the same condition that you saw it before officially signing the deed to transfer the property. You are not required to complete a home inspection, but it is highly recommended.

Should I complete a home inspection?

Yes! Home inspections reveal defects in the home that are not easily detected. This will help bring a peace of mind to one of your biggest lifetime investments.

Are home inspections required for my financing?

Generally, no. Lenders do not require a full home inspection, but some loan programs may require you to do some smaller inspections for wood destroying insects.

What happens if my offer is not accepted?

Sellers can flat-out accept, reject or counter an initial offer. Remember a deal can always be negotiated until the deal is truly “dead”. It is not unusual that multiple negotiations will go back and forth until all parties can agree on acceptable terms.

What is an Earnest Deposit? How much does it need to be?

To fully ratify a contract, an earnest deposit is required. Ordinarily, the deposit is due within five days of acceptance of the contract. The deposit is held by the listing brokers office in escrow until the day of settlement. Typically the amount for the earnest deposit is 1-2% of the purchase price of the home, but you can certainly put more money in escrow to make your offer more attractive.

Is my security deposit safe?

Yes, it is held in escrow by the listing brokerage. You are entitled to receive your money back should you terminate the contract for a valid contingency that was elected in the contract. Anytime you are looking to receive your money back through termination it is advised to seek legal advice.

How many homes should I view before purchasing?

That is up to you! Some buyers fall in love with the first home they see and others look at 30 or 40 or more homes. It all depends on what your desires and expectations are in a home.

Must I sell my current house before buying?

Possibly. This is a question that your mortgage professional can answer. Everyone’s financial situation is different.

My credit isn't the best, can I get a house?

Potentially. This is a question for your mortgage professional. Everyone's situation is different. While there are credit minimums, lenders can work with you on finding solutions to get your credit to a good point.

I have no money for a down payment, what can I do?

You will need money for your down payment. However, there are certain mortgage programs that can help cover some of your closing costs. Additionally, we can ask for seller assistance which will help to cover some of your closing costs.

Once I find a home how quickly can I move into it?

Depending on your loan type, this process typically takes about 30-45 days.

I have never bought a home before, what does the process look like?

What is the MLS?

MLS stands for Multiple Listing Service. This is a large network of associations of realtors that use a common entry system to publicize homes. Once we begin searching for homes, we can set you up for an MLS search so you can get real time data and information on listings that are coming onto the market.

What are closing costs?

Closing costs are expenses that are incurred by buyers and sellers when the property is being transferred. Typical costs include transfer tax, recording fees, title insurance, lender fees, lender application fees, appraisal fees, real estate commissions (sellers side), reimbursement of property taxes to sellers, etc.

What is title insurance? Must I have it?

Title insurance insures a buyer and lender that the title for the property is clear of any liens and encumbrances. Cost is determined by the price of the property. You do not have to purchase title insurance if you do not have a mortgage, but it is highly recommended. If you have a mortgage, your lender will require this insurance to be purchased.

What is an appraisal and why do I need one?

An appraisal is the estimated value of the property you are purchasing. The appraiser is randomly assigned by an independent third party appraisal management company.

Listing A Home

What should I do to prepare my house before selling?

First impressions die hard. We will help to identify common areas that buyers are going to focus on to make sure they are in excellent condition for showings and pictures. We will walk through your home and provide a list of suggestions and must do’s before listing. We can also work with you on arranging a professional home stager and any other vendors that might be needed to bring your home up to standards for selling.

Should I do a home inspection?

This is not a requirement, but it is a good idea to help you get the most serious buyers and not have to worry about any issues down the road.

How long does it take to sell a home?

Once your home is on the market, it could take anywhere from a few hours, to a week or more. It all depends on condition, price point, and the current market at the time of listing.

Why is my assessed value different from my market value?

The assessed value is the tax assessor's value of your property. Some municipalities will only update assessments every few years. The fair market value of your home is what a willing buyer and you the seller are willing to agree upon to purchase the home.

What fees must I pay?

The seller is responsible for paying a commission to the buyer's agent and the listing agent. The standard commission is 6% split between the brokers. Additionally, the seller will be required to pay a 1% transfer tax to the State. There will be some other very nominal fees at settlement.

What if I do not like any offers?

You don’t have to accept them. It is your job as the seller to determine which offer you like best and we will negotiate any additional terms that you might desire.

How do you identify the price of my home?

There are many factors to take into consideration. We will do significant research on similar homes that have sold as a base point. From there, we will look at what features you have that the comparables either have or do not have and make adjustments accordingly. We will take into consideration what is currently happening in the market place when you list.

Is there a better time to put my home on the market?

The time of the year you chose to sell can greatly impact your length of time on market, along with any economic factors and supply and demand. Typically, February – July is a great time to sell your home as well as in the fall. However, over the last several years, with a sellers market and low inventory, time of the year hasn’t really mattered much.

Why should I use a real estate agent?

Real estate agents are more than just sales people. They will act on your behalf, provide you with advice and guidance when buying or selling. As the complexity of the real estate industry changes, it is beneficial to have a trained expert on your side.

Our commitment is to you.