Frequently Asked Questions

Top Frequently Asked Questions from Home Buyers

Should I talk with a bank before looking at homes?

It is good practice to meet with a bank or lender beforehand to understand how much home you can afford. You can also use many of the mortgage calculators available online to get an estimate of what you can reasonably afford based on your income and other financial obligations. In the end, having a pre-approval from a bank or lender lets buyers know you are serious about the home buying process.

I own a home, should I buy another before selling my home?

This is really up to the individual and their unique circumstances. There are a lot of factors that may influence someone’s decision in this situation. Timing, availability of inventory of homes on the market, buyer’s requirements, etc. all may play a big part in the decision. A provision like a ‘sale contingency’ may be something to consider. We suggest talking with your trusted realtor to determine what will make the most sense for your situation.

Do I really need a Realtor when buying a home?

While you may not be legally required to work with a realtor when buying a home, it’s considered good practice to work with one. A lot like having a pre-approval, it lets buyers know you are serious about the process and that you are working with an experienced professional who can help ensure the process goes as smoothly as possible. Realtors are well versed in the various requirements, contracts, etc. of a real estate transaction. It’s their responsibility to be your advocate in the home buying process.

Who pays the Realtor fees when buying a home?

While the seller typically pays the fees out of the proceeds from the sale of their property there are many other fees that as a buyer you will be responsible for such as a down payment, inspections, appraisals and closing costs. We suggest your talk with your realtor to get an understanding of the various types of fees that are involved in a home buying transaction.

How many homes should I look at before putting in a purchase offer?

This is really up to you! When beginning your home buying journey be sure to think about the types of characteristics that you want in a home to be sure you are looking at properties that meet those requirements. Your realtor will help you to understand the competitiveness of the market and things to consider as you decide whether to place an offer on a home.

How long does the seller have to respond to my offer?

Typically a seller will have 24 hours to review an offer that a buyer has submitted. In some instances, if there are multiple offers on a property, the seller may come back and ask the potential buyers to submit a best and final offer by a certain time period and that may extend the time the seller has to review all of the offers. When in doubt if you ever have questions, talk with your realtor.

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Top Frequently Asked Questions from Home Sellers

When is the best time to sell my home?

Realistically, you can sell your home at any time of the year; this is entirely up to you. Historically there are certain times of the year where more homes are typically listed and sold and that is during the spring and summer months. Lots of factors may influence whether or not it is a ‘good time’ to sell, this can include whether it is a buyer or sellers market, amount of inventory on the market to name a few. When in doubt talk with your realtor to decide what may work best for your circumstances.

What steps should I take to prepare my home for sale?

The decision to sell your home is a big one! There are definitely things you can do to make sure your home is ready to sell and is attractive to prospective buyers. A few things to consider, removing any clutter or overly personal items from your home, this will help prospective buyers be able to envision themselves there. Make sure rooms are neat and clean and if you decide to repaint before selling your home consider using more neutral tones. If there are needed repairs you decide to fix prior to selling your home, keep your receipts to show prospective buyers the work was recently completed and done by a professional. Your realtor will likely take photos of your home to showcase and market it to prospective buyers and you’ll want to keep your home neat and clean throughout the showing process.

What steps should I take to prepare my home for sale?

There are several things you need to know before listing your home for sale! Not properly preparing a home for sale can put a home owner at a huge disadvantage.

The expression “You never get a second chance to make a first impression” is absolutely true when it comes to selling a home. When selling a home you must be sure that your home presents itself in the best possible light. Making sure clutter is at a minimum, freshly painting rooms, installing new carpeting, or ensuring odors are non-existent are just a handful of things that should be done before listing your home for sale.

How do you determine how much my home is worth?

Your realtor will prepare a market analysis for you that include a recommended listing price for your home. Items that are taken into consideration when making this recommendation include current market inventory, other homes that have recently sold in your area (referred to as comps), the condition of your home and current estimates from tax valuations, etc. The listing price is ultimately the seller’s decision. We suggest working with a realtor to determine a listing price that is competitive and is reflective of the value of your home.

What is a sale contingency?

A contingency is a clause that is included in a purchase and sale contract and it would need to be agreed to by both the buyer and seller. The contingency is typically a certain criteria or set of criteria that needs to be met in order for the contract to move forward.

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