Real Estate FAQs
Q) What's the first step in the home buying process?
A) Once you decide that you'd like to purchase a new home, the first thing you should do is find a good lender, then get pre approved for your mortgage. This shows your Realtor and sellers that you're a serious buyer.
Q) What is the difference in being pre-qualified or pre-approved?
A) Being pre-qualified means you could potentially could get a mortgage loan for the amount stated (assuming all of the information you provided the bank is accurate). Getting pre-approved means that you have undergone an extensive financial background check which includes the review of your credit history, tax returns and employment verification. A pre-approval means that the lender is willing to give you a loan. Sellers prefer that buyers are pre-approved.
Q) What is a contingency?
A) A contingency is a provision that is included in a sales contract stating that certain events need to occur, or certain conditions must be met before the contract is valid. For example, the sale can be contingent on the home passing an inspection and attorney review of the contract. The contract sale can also be contingent upon the buyer obtaining a loan.
Q) How long does it take to get a loan then close on a home?
A) The entire process - from making an offer, to closing, can vary from a week up to 45 days or more. Some of the factors affecting the time frame include the type of loan, the appraisal, and time needed for title clearance. Delays can also occur if outside sources or the borrowers don't provide documents to the lender in a timely fashion.
Q) Why should I use a real estate agent to buy or sell a home?
A) A professional real estate agent is much more than a salesperson. Your real estate agent works hard on your behalf - providing you with advice and guidance when buying and / or selling a home. The real estate market is continually changing, and the information available to the public is not always 100% accurate. When selling your home, you should have the most current information about what has recently sold and what is currently for sale - your real estate agent can provide up-to-date data. Also, real estate agents have expertise in marketing and price negotiation.
If you are thinking about buying a home, it would be advisable to use a buyer's agent. They can make recommendations on what terms and prices to offer as well as negotiating a deal with your best interest in mind.
Q) How much work on my home should I do before listing?
A) Before you start to worry about this, contact me - I can give you a free assessment, and let you know exactly what you can do to get your home ready to sell.
Q) How much is my house worth?
A) The exact price of your home will depend on its size, neighborhood, and many of other factors. I will create a custom market analysis for you, then we will look at the prices of similar homes that have recently sold in your area. Then, we'll price your home strategically. If we price it too high, the home is likely to linger on the market, and pricing it too will cost you profits.
Q) How long does it take to sell?
A) Market times vary based on the area of the home, the condition, the price and the economy. When homes are priced competitively and marketed properly, they tend to sell much faster.
Q) Is staging my home important when selling?
A) On average, a properly staged home sells 88% faster—and for 20% more money.
Q) Should I be home when buyers look at my house?
A) Typicay - No. Buyers are more comfortable looking at homes without the homeowner present. However, they should always be accompanied by a licensed Realtor.
Q) How much commission do real estate agents charge?
A) Commission rates will vary. There is no "set" rate.