5 Questions Home Buyers Ask
1. How do I know what I can afford?
Mortgage pre-approval is the first step in determining how much you can afford to spend. Your realtor can help you in determining a lender. Once in touch with a lender, you will fill out a loan application and disclose important financial information such as credit history, debt, work and residential history. Pre-approval is a crucial step in the home buying process, as it shows you are a serious buyer ready and qualified to purchase. It is a common misconception that a large down payment is required, however that is not always the case. MKT Partner Joe Zimmerman notes, “Many potential home buyers overestimate the down payment amount needed to qualify for a mortgage in this market. Speaking with a lender is the best way to be confident in your purchase power.” Pre-approval is the first step!
2. When should I start the process?
It is never too early to start the buying process! Buying a home is a huge life event and your realtor will guide you the whole way. A helpful first step is identifying “must haves” and “wants.” Having a clear view of your priorities in a home will be essential later on in the process. Working with an agent is crucial as they educate you on the real estate market and current trends. Your agent can walk you through the process to start looking at looking at homes in your price range.
3. Do I need a realtor?
Yes! Your realtor is arguably the most valuable asset in the home buying process. A realtor will educate and walk you through every aspect of the process. With a comprehensive understanding of the ins-and-outs of real estate and the current market, a realtor is indispensable. With their expertise and experience, a realtor will act as your advocate, providing guidance, foresight, and representation throughout the entire transaction. Your realtor will work tirelessly to ensure you have a perfectreal estate transaction.
4. What follows after I make an offer?
Upon making an initial offer that is suited to the current market, expect to be sent a counter offer. A counter offer is nothing to be afraid of, as it is often the path to final acceptance. Your agent will help you effectively negotiate during this process. Most contracts will contain a good faith deposit, otherwise known as an earnest money deposit. Earnest money shows the sellers you are committed to following through with the transaction. Along with depositing earnest money, you will want to hire an inspector. An inspector will look at the property to address potential concerns. With the understanding that no home is perfect, the inspector will find issues. The inspector is there to address your questions and concerns. Having the property appraised is also an important step after making an offer. Lenders will arrange an appraiser to estimate the value of the home. An appraiser will have a comprehensive understanding of comparable properties that have recently sold in the area. What about the all paperwork? Lenders will also arrange a meeting with a title company to ensure you are the rightful new owner.
5. How long does it take to close?
The time it takes to close on your home is variable, as there are sometimes timeline changes that could arise during inspections, appraisals and lending. It is important to be patient in the closing process as this is normal. The closing day is the ultimate step in ownership. The closing date is specified in the contract which is signed by both parties, and often takes place at the title company. Have no fear, as your realtor will help you navigate the entire purchase to close process!
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Our agents write often to give you the latest insights on owning a home or property in the local area.