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As a potential home buyer, the real estate market can be confusing due to the each market area’s dependence on supply and demand. Real estate markets are truly local. It may be a Seller’s market in your home town and a Buyer’s market in our area. Your real estate agent is here to make you aware of the local market and ensure your home purchase goes smoothly. We have put together a list of questions that all home buyers should ask themselves before they make the commitment to purchase a home.
What is the difference between a “Buyer’s Agent” and a “Seller’s Agent”? Why should I work with a “Buyer’s Agent”?
A “Buyer’s Agent” is a real estate agent that is hired by the buyer to find the right home for the buyer. The main goal for a “Buyer’s Agent” is to find the best home for a buyer, while negotiating the best price. A “Seller’s Agent” is a real estate agent hired by the seller to market and sell their home. The main goal of a “Seller’s Agent” is to sell the seller’s home at the highest price possible.
How much house can I afford?
In general, the amount you can afford to spend on a home is a combination of your cash on hand, your salary, and your outstanding debt. For your specific situation, we can refer you to lenders that have provided great customer service.
When is the best time to get loan approval?In order to have the best possible chance when submitting a home offer an Agent will recommend that buyers obtain a pre-approved for their home loan. Pre-approval simply means that the buyer has worked with a lender to determine what the maximum loan amount the buyer could qualify for with that lender, prior to selecting a house. Pre-approved buyers have several advantages, including increased negotiating power, since the seller knows that you can complete the transaction. In fact, some sellers will not even entertain offers unless the buyer is pre-approved.
Your real estate agent will do the following:
- Work with you through the entire home buying process, from start to finish
- Search the entire MLS (Multiple Listing Service) database and email or call you with new homes as they come on the market. We also work builders and developers in the area and can even arrange to see for sale by owner homes.
- Show you all of the homes you are interested in visiting and recommend houses which meet your criteria in all areas
- Help you negotiate the selling price of the home; we educate you on comparable sales prices
- Prepare the offer for the property
- Prepare all of the contracts associated with the home purchase
- Work with title, escrow and loan companies to arrange all necessary documents
- Serve as your point person during the closing process
- Answer any questions you may have about any part of the real estate process
Your agent will NOT do the following:
- Provide you with legal or financial advice
- Pressure you to do anything that you don’t feel comfortable doing
What are the tax implications?When you buy a home mortgage, interest and property taxes are generally deductible from the income taxes you itemize. This means that owning a home vs. renting can save taxes and can make homeownership less expensive than renting. For details, speak with your tax professional.
Have I seen everything on the market?Your agent is a professional in the type of property you are looking for. We search all homes for sale in the area, not just our listings.
How will I know I am not overpaying for the property?
One way to ensure that you are paying a fair price for the property is to look at what other houses of similar size and characteristics have sold for in the past few months. Your agent will provide you with some comparable home sales in the area.
How much will it cost to work with an agent?
In a residential real estate transaction the Seller usually pays the real estate commission. However, in some markets an agent can ask you in advance to have a written agreement to work with them and pay a commission, each market and property type can have different situations.