Top Frequently Asked Questions from Home Buyers

Dated: August 26 2020

Views: 82

Top Frequently Asked Questions from Home Buyers

Whether a buyer is purchasing their first home or their fifth home, the home buying process can create many emotions and feelings.  One of the best ways to ensure the process is not overwhelming for a buyer is to be well educated and properly prepared for the process.

When buying a home, one of the most important things to understand is that “no question is a dumb question.”  If you’re unsure of something when buying a home, ask!

Questions Asked Before Starting The Home Buying Process

  • Should I talk with a bank before looking at homes?

There are tons of reasons why you should talk with a bank and get pre-approved before looking at homes.  First and foremost, talking with a bank before looking at homes can help you understand exactly how much you can afford.  There is no reason to look at homes that are listed for $250,000 if you can only afford up to $200,000.

If you’re a first time home buyer, talking with a bank before looking at homes is strongly suggested, as there are many first time home buyer programs available.  

Another important reason to talk with a bank before looking at homes is so you understand exactly what costs are associated with buying a home.  There are many home buyers who don’t understand the difference between a down payment, pre-paid items, and escrows, which can be thoroughly explained by a mortgage professional.  

Should I buy or continue to rent?

Buying a home can be a very solid investment. Renting can also be a better option for some, depending on the circumstances.  The current interest rates are incredible.  A 30-year FHA mortgage can be locked in at a rate of around 3.5%.  Since the interest rates are so low, it actually can be cheaper to pay a mortgage right now than paying rent.

One of the most important things to consider is the length you plan on staying in a home, if you were to purchase.  If only a few years, it’s likely the better decision is to continue renting.  Another question to ask yourself is whether you are ready to take on the additional “responsibilities” of owning a home.  Buying a home is a great option in many cases, but not always.

https://www.smartaboutmoney.org/Courses/My-Housing-Plan/Why-Own?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIoqb4nLW56wIVDtvACh0CtwoiEAAYASAAEgIje_D_BwE

Buying a home can be a very solid investment. Renting can also be a better option for some, depending on the circumstances.  The current interest rates are incredible.  A 30-year FHA mortgage can be locked in at a rate of around 3.5%.  Since the interest rates are so low, it actually can be cheaper to pay a mortgage right now than paying rent.

One of the most important things to consider is the length you plan on staying in a home, if you were to purchase.  If only a few years, it’s likely the better decision is to continue renting.  Another question to ask yourself is whether you are ready to take on the additional “responsibilities” of owning a home.  Buying a home is a great option in many cases, but not always.

When Buying a Home Hire a Realtor®
Do I really need a Realtor when buying a home?

There are many reasons why you should have a Realtor represent your best interests when buying a home.  Keep in mind, all Realtors are not the same!  When choosing a buyers agent, make sure you know how to properly interview prospective Realtors when buying a home.

Attempting to buy a home without a Realtor can really make the home buying process more difficult.  Having a Realtor is always recommended when buying a home.  One thing not to do when buying a home is calling the listing agent because you don’t want to “bother” your Realtor.  

Who pays the Realtor fees when buying a home?

One reason why buyers ask the question about the need of having a Realtor when buying a home is because they don’t understand who pays the Realtor fees when buying a home.  There are no guarantees, however, in most cases the seller pays the Realtor fees

https://www.nar.realtor/realtor-ae-magazine/why-you-should-hire-a-realtor

Questions Asked While “House Hunting”

  • What is a short sale?

 The easiest way to understand a short sale is the sale of a home in which the proceeds from the sale are less than the balance of debts secured by liens against the property and the home owner cannot afford to pay the liens in full.

Short sales are not impossible to buy but you must be patient and be in no immediate rush to move.

  • What is a foreclosure?

 A foreclosure, sometimes referred to as a REO, is a property that is owned by a lender.  If you’re considering the purchase of a foreclosure, it’s important to understand that most are sold “as-is.”  Foreclosures, if not purchased by an owner occupant, are often purchased by investors, fixed up, “flipped,” and sold to a owner occupant.

  • How is the neighborhood/area?

As a real estate professional, there are rules against steering and providing personal insight into specific areas and neighborhoods. Many buyers wonder about the growth of the local economy, crime statistics, taxes, and local amenities.  You should be able to receive all of the pertinent information from your Realtor to allow you to make an educated decision on areas and neighborhoods.

  • How are the schools?

Just like tips for selecting a neighborhood, your Realtor should be able to provide you with names or websites where you can find information on the local schools .


How many homes should you look at before buying one?

The most popular items in a home that buyers want to know about are the major mechanical items, such as the roof, furnace, water heater, and air conditioning (if applicable). Your  Realtor should be able to find the dates of a furnace, water heater, and air conditioning unit by looking at the serial numbers.  The roof age is often known by the home owner.  If not, the age usually can be approximately determined by looking at the roof characteristics, such as the sagging areas and the way the shingles are laying.

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

 The answer is, there is no specific number of homes you should look at before buying a home.  Don’t feel that if you were to purchase the first home you look at that you’re making a mistake.  Same  is valid if it takes you looking at 20 homes.

Questions Asked While Placing A Purchase Offer

  • How much should I offer the sellers?

You are the only one who can determine how much you should offer a seller.  Certainly it’s suggested you ask for your Realtors advice and thoughts, but ultimately you are the only person who can determine how much you should offer.

  • What is an earnest money deposit?

When a buyer purchases a home, they provide the seller’s real estate company a deposit to hold in their escrow account.  The main purpose of this deposit is to show a seller you are serious about purchasing their home.  The amount that is deposited is subtracted from the final figure that a buyer pays at closing.  In most cases, the larger the deposit, the stronger a purchase offer looks to a seller.

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

 A purchase offer will have a “life.”  The “life of the offer” can vary from 12 hours to 3 or 4 days.  If you’re looking to purchase a home that is newly listed and the possibility of multiple offers exists, a shorter life is recommended.  

What if my offer is rejected?

 If your offer is rejected, meaning the seller says no and doesn’t counter, you have the right to place another offer.  It’s not very common an offer is rejected or not responded to, unless a seller is offended by a low-ball offer.

  • Do I have the option to have any inspections?

 The purchase offer you write can be contingent upon a satisfactory home inspection, pest inspection, chimney inspection, radon test, and many other inspections.  In most cases, it’s recommended that when buying a home, you at the bare minimum have a home inspection.  

Questions Asked After A Purchase Offer Is Accepted


Home Buying FAQ – When is the closing date?

 Between contract acceptance and the closing date, there are many things that need to be completed.  In a nutshell, after an offer is accepted, generally any inspections will be completed.  After the inspections, you complete a formal mortgage application and last but not least, the title, abstract, survey, and any miscellaneous paperwork is completed.  When buying a home, finding the perfect home is only one part of actually becoming a homeowner.  Throughout the mortgage process, you should expect the bank to require documentation, letters, and other items from you to satisfy the bank conditions.

  • When is the closing date?

 Before you hire the movers and take time off from work, know that the closing date in the contract isn’t necessarily the date you will own your new home.  

Final Thoughts 

When buying a home, being prepared and well educated can really make a huge difference.   The home buying process begins before you ever look at one home and the process continues until you get the keys.

Here is a link to homes avaialble in Lakewood: https://myre.io/0pj3Z5eLoGgIm

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Catherine Deschamps-Potter

Originally from France, I moved to the United States in 1988 and lived in Wisconsin for many years. My love for the outdoors made the move to Denver, Colorado a no brainer! My true expertise is in cli....

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