Home Buyer’s FAQ’s

Searching for a Home

What should I do when I see a house online that I like?

Call your home buyer’s agent: the agent you are working with to find your home. It’s best that you work with one real estate agent throughout your search because that person learns what you like and dislike and will invest a lot of time vetting properties for you. That person also represents your best interests only. When you call the agent advertising the home, you are dealing with the seller’s agent, so, while they can assist you, they are also trying to get the best price for the seller.

Can you show me a house if it’s not your listing?

Absolutely. As a home buyer’s agent, I can show you any house listed in our MLS system, and I will contact FSBO sellers on your behalf. As mentioned above, working with me as your home buyer’s agent ensures that your interests are protected.

How do we write an offer?

When you find the property you want to make an offer on, I will run a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) to help you determine a fair offer amount. I’m here to guide you through the additional terms of the contract, such as the deposit amount, closing date, and any other terms you want to be included in the offer. I will write the offer on a contract form and submit it to the listing agent.

What if I want to back out of a contract?

You always have the right to back out of the purchase, but you may lose your deposit. If the contract is contingent on a property inspection, you usually have the right to cancel for any reason during the inspection period. Once the inspection period has passed, you cannot back out and keep your deposit unless the seller agrees, or an additional term has not been met.

What happens if there are other offers on the house I love?

If a seller receives multiple offers on their home, usually their agent will inform the buyer’s that multiple offers have been received and the buyers have another opportunity to alter their original offer to present their “highest and best” offer. Keep in mind that many factors may influence the seller in addition to the offer price, such as the down payment amount, closing date, condition terms, as well as emotions.

What happens when my offer gets accepted?

Once both parties have agreed on all terms and signed the contract, your deposit must be made and you should schedule the home inspection. Your lender will receive a copy of the contract and will begin processing your mortgage application.

Mortgage-Related

As a home buyer, how do I know if it’s time to buy instead of rent?

If you know where you want to live, and have a steady and secure income. Home buyer’s should be sure they are ready for all the responsibilities of homeownership as well. At that point, it’s a great time to invest in property.

How much do I need to save up for a down payment?

A mortgage down payment is usually 20% of the sales price. Be aware, there are other types of financing could possibly require as little as 3.5% to 15%. A mortgage lender can tell you what types of loans you qualify for.

How do I know if I qualify for a loan and how much I can afford?

Contact a mortgage lender to get pre-approval for a loan. The lender will ask you some basic questions about your income and debts. With some calculations they can tell you what amount you can be approved for, terms and payment amounts.

What does the lender need from me to give me a loan?

Usually, home buyer’s are asked to provide your last two tax returns to show proof of income. You should also provide recent bank and credit card statements and proof of your current pay rate. You will also be asked for your social security number so they can run a credit check.

What’s the difference between pre-approved and pre-qualified?

While often used interchangeably, these terms don’t mean the same thing. Pre-qualification, is an estimate of what you may be approved for based only on the verbal information you provide. Pre-approval, means the lender has verified your income and debt information and run a credit check.

How do I know which mortgage option is right for me?

Your mortgage lender is the best person to advise you on this question. Their products and qualifications change from time to time, so they would know best what products are available to meet your needs.

Contact me here and I can recommend Mortgage Agents who can help you with more in depth questions.

We’re Under Contract!

What does “under contract” mean?

Under contract means that all parties have agreed on terms, have signed the contract, and the signed contract has been delivered to both buyer and seller. Payment of the deposit is expected but is not a requirement to make a binding contract.

What is a deposit?

The deposit or good faith deposit is money that is offered with an offer, or as soon as an offer is accepted, to show the seller that you are serious about  the purchase of the home. If you back out of the purchase for any reason not allowed for in the contract, you forfeit this deposit. Generally, the larger the deposit, the more seriously your offer is taken.

Do I need an inspection?

We always recommend that home buyer’s have a home inspection done. In the scheme of things, paying a few hundred dollars to have peace of mind that there are no hidden dangers or problems is well worth the money.

How much are inspections?

The cost of the home inspection depends on the size of the house and additional inspections requested, such as swimming pool, septic tank, insurance four-point (HVAC, plumbing, roof, and electrical,) wind mitigation, and radon.

Contact me here and I can recommend Home Inspectors who can help you with more in depth questions.

What if my loan doesn’t get approved?

If you have gone through the pre-approval process and have been forthcoming with all the information requested by your lender, it’s unlikely you will be turned down, but it does happen. Make sure you do not change jobs, purchase big-ticket items on credit, take out a car or boat loan, or open any other new credit accounts while your mortgage is being processed. If your loan does fall through, talk with your lender about changing to a different loan type.

When can I start moving?

As soon as you have the keys! When you are financing your purchase, it can possibly take four to six weeks for your loan to be processed. Once the lender gives the all-clear, closing is scheduled. You will sign your loan documents and both parties will sign documents transferring ownership to you. Unless other arrangements have been agreed upon by both parties, the sellers should have completely vacated the home when they sign the closing papers. You can have your belongings ready to move, and a moving company scheduled before you go to closing. At closing, you will receive the documentation you need to provide utility companies with proof of your new residence.

Question? Contact Crystal Kateryniuk with any questions here!

Looking for information on WHY to use a Real Estate Professional when buying your next vacation home? Check out my previous blog in regards to this here!

Need to sell your previous vacation home first? Read WHY to use a Real Estate Professional to sell here.

Get a FREE Comparative Market Evaluation by clicking here!