After working with many home buyers, I decided to put together a FAQs list. Does it cover EVERYTHING? No. This list would be really, really loooooooong. Contact me for a buyer’s consult or speak with your buyer’s agent for a more in depth look at home buying.
How long does it take to buy a home?
Typically, from accepted offer to closing, about 45 days with a financed deal. For cash it’s quicker, a week, maybe 2.
Should I get a buyer’s agent?
YES. However, I’m just going to shoot this answer to a previous blog post I wrote about a buyer’s agent.
Do I need to be pre-approved when looking for a home?
It would be best if you were! It will tell you what range you should be looking in, and that will save you time and heartache. You don’t want to find your dream house when you can’t afford it.
How do I know what my payments will be?
Contact your lender. If you don’t have one, ask me, I’ll gladly give you a recommendation (even if you’re not my client). Or ask your buyer’s agent, best friend, parents…anyone you trust.
How many homes should I look at?
That depends on you. I’ve had buyers that have written an offer on the very first one we’ve seen, while others have taken longer. The average is around 7. If you tour a home, and it meets all your needs/requirements, and you can picture yourself living there, why would you wait? Another buyer may snatch it right up while you continue to look.
Are foreclosure homes the best deals in town?
Absolutely not. Ask your buyer’s agent.
What’s earnest money?
Think of this as a glorified security deposit. This is not money just given to the seller. It’s held in the listing agents company’s trust account, or somewhere else if stated in the offer. Primarily, the purpose is to show a seller you are serious about purchasing their home. That you’ve got some “skin in the game.” Upon a successful closing, your earnest money deposit is credited back to you and is subtracted from your final amount you pay at closing. In most cases, the larger amount of earnest money, the stronger an offer looks to a seller.
How much earnest money should I offer?
Talk to your buyer’s agent. This amount varies with every transaction. There isn’t a magical amount. I’ve had buyer’s offer $500, and I’ve had buyer’s offer $5k.
How low can I make my offer?
It is entirely up to you with what you want to offer. You’re the one purchasing (trying to anyway) the home. Is there a lot of interest in the home? Has there been an offer before? How long has it been on the market? Is the seller having a good day? Is it Tuesday? Talk to your buyer’s agent for advise.
PS – Obviously, some of those are random. Seriously, just talk with your buyer’s agent. This is not a one-size fits all kinda answer.
My offer was rejected. Now what?
Why was it rejected? Have your buyer’s agent do some work and find out. Common theme: Was your offer too low? Or was there another offer that was better? Is the home still for sale? Is it Tuesday?
When will my offer be considered accepted and binding?
As soon as the sellers sign the offer and deliver it back to your buyer’s agent.
My offer was accepted, now what?
Hooray! Now the fun begins. It’s time to turn in your earnest money, set up any and all inspections, and get in contact with your lender to see what they need from you.
Do I really need to get a home inspection?
I would highly advise getting a home inspection. Think of it this way, you’re about to make one of the most largest financial decisions of your life, and you’re not sure if you want to spend the extra few hundred dollars to make sure it’s a sound investment?
How long does a home inspection take and do I need to be there?
About 2 hours? Depends on who you hire. It would be great if you could be there for it, so you can see first hand everything your inspector sees. It also gives you time to ask them questions on defects, or maintenance issues.
What are my fees to pay?
Your lender has fees, ask them about it. There will be title fees (a nominal amount), even though the seller does pay most of them. You will pay for your home inspection, anywhere from $250-$350. A buyer’s agent is free, BUT if they are not free, you should know the price, as it will be in the paperwork you signed with them.
Can we close early?
Depends. It would depend on your lender, if they can wrap up things quicker. And it would depend on the sellers, if they would agree to it.
What about utilities?
You will need to get in touch with WPS. You will begin service the day to close. Water transfers with title, so you’re good there.
What’s a final walk through, and do I have to go?
Typically, it’s done within 3 days of closing. I would say maybe 60% of my buyers do this. And the buyers that can’t/don’t want to do a final walk through, I do the walk through. It’s a time to see the home before you close. Maybe see completed repairs in person. Maybe make sure the seller did indeed leave the washer and dryer like it was stated in the offer. Or maybe to take some measurements. If you can’t or don’t have time for a final walk through, MAKE YOUR AGENT GO FOR YOU.
It’s closing day, I’m super excited, may I give you a hug?
It’s closing day, I’m super excited for YOU, and I love hugs 🙂