Whether a buyer is purchasing their first starter home or working on their forever home, the home buying process can create many emotions and feelings. One of the best ways to ensure the process is not overwhelming for a buyer is to be well educated and properly prepared for the process.
There are normally many questions that home buyers will have throughout the process. Even an experienced home buyer can forget exactly how the process works and what the proper steps are to ensure the process is relatively smooth.
When buying a home, one of the most important things to understand is that “no question is a dumb question.” If you’re unsure of something when buying a home, ask!
There are many questions that home buyers seem to ask quite often. Some questions are before starting the home buying process, during a house hunt, while writing a contract, or after an offer is accepted. Here are the top frequently asked questions from home buyers.
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. There is no reason to look at homes that are listed for $250,000 if you can only afford up to $200,000.
Another important reason to talk with a bank before looking at homes is so you understand exactly what costs are associated with buying a home. There are many home buyers who don’t understand the difference between a down payment, pre-paid items, and escrows, which can be thoroughly explained by a mortgage professional. Our mortgage professional can give you advice on the type of financing you should be looking to obtain and also whether or not you should request the seller to contribute towards your closing costs, also known as a seller’s concession.
When buying a home, 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!
Attempting to buy a home without a Realtor can really make the home buying process more difficult. Having a Realtor is always recommended when buying a home. One thing not to do when buying a home is calling the listing agent because you don’t want to “bother” your Realtor. This is one thing most real estate agents hate because it blurs the line between Buyer and Seller.
Oh yeah, did I mention that, in most cases, it's FREE to work with a Buyer's Agent?!
While the most popular questions stem from major mechanical systems such as the HVAC system, water heaters, roof, etc., any experienced agent should be able to look at the serial numbers on an HVAC system or water heater to determine approximate age. However, the answer isn't always as clear when trying to determine the age of the roof. Often times, the Seller doesn't know the exact age of the roof, but you can look at certain characteristics of the roof's covering and give an estimate of condition.
There's really no correct answer here. We have written offers on the first home that we previewed, and we have looked at 5 properties before writing an offer. A big determining factor is going to be market condition. If we are in a Seller's market and houses are flying off the shelf before we can get out to look at them, it's probably a good idea to try to act fast before it gets gone.
Generally speaking, we like to narrow our search results to 3 houses, and then make a decision from those 3 choices. We do this because if we go out and look at 10 houses, by the time you get to house number 10 it's going to be hard to remember the features of house number 1.
While this is ultimately your decision, it is highly recommended that you ask your Realtor for their thoughts and opinions. At Premier Property Group we'll never push you into making an offer of any type. We are there to walk alongside you and to guide you, not to sell you anything.
At the time of an offer there is usually an Earnest Money Deposit as well as a Due Diligence Fee - both are a Buyer Credit towards the purchase price of the home at closing. While they are both due at the time of the offer, there is a difference between the two.
Due Diligence Fee
This is a check made directly to the Seller, essentially paying them for taking their home off the market to allow you to conduct your due diligence. Except for very limited circumstances, this fee is non-refundable. Upon offer acceptance, you will receive a Due Diligence Period, (we usually we try get it set up for about 3 weeks), in which, working alongside your agent, you will conduct all necessary inspections/appraisals/surveys/etc. that you would like to have done, to make sure that everything is as it should be and everyone (including Lender) is ok with the terms of the transaction.
Earnest Money Deposit
This is a check made out to either the Listing Firm or the Closing Attorney, depending upon whether the Listing Firm has a Trust Account or not. It is refundable so long as you give written notice of contract cancellation to Seller before 5PM on your Due Diligence Period date, you are entitled to receive your Earnest Money Deposit back.
During this Due Diligence Period, you can back out for any or no reason at all. However, we like to work with both our clients and our customers to come to a common ground in order to ensure a fair transaction to all parties.
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. Although, it’s not very common an offer is rejected or not responded to, unless a seller is offended by a low-ball offer
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