Buyer's FAQS

  • Do I really need an Agent?

    Yes!  A Buyer's Agent is there to work for your best interest. They have up to the minute information of comparable homes sales which helps you bring a strong offer to the table based on market demands. They protect your rights as a consumer by negotiating contracts and acting as liaison between you and the Seller. They walk you through the legalities of the contract and advise you during inspections & appraisals. With all of these details to juggle, hiring a Buyer's Agent should be an easy decision... and no one works harder than Trish!

  • Where do I start?

    Pre-qualification.  It’s always best to start by getting prequalified by a trusted, local lender. This process is fast, free, and will give you vital information that will be needed when it comes time to make an offer.  Pre-qualification  also gives you the benefit of knowing how much you can afford to spend on your new home.

  • Is there a cost to hire a Buyer's' Agent?

    No.  There should never be any up-front or out-of-pocket costs to hire a Buyer’s Agent. In a typical real estate transaction, the Seller pays the Buyer’s Agent a commission after closing.

  • What is a Buyer’s Agency Agreement?

    A contract between the Buyer and the Agent that outlines the expectations the Agent should meet. In return, the contract gives assurance to the Agent that they will receive a commission once a house is purchased.

  • How much house can I afford?

    It depends on your debt to income ratio, other assets, credit score and other details of your financial health. To answer this question you should start by filling out the  pre-qualification form. A local lender will contact you and help you with these tough questions.

  • What if I have a poor credit score?

    Press on!  There are quite a few lenders that loan to people with poor credit. Although a credit score in the mid 600’s is fair, even consumers in the 500’s can still get a loan. Email Trish directly and she can put you in touch with local lenders who can help.

  • When is the best time to buy?

    Anytime.  Each season has benefits. Spring and Summer tend to have more inventory, but prices can creep up as the market becomes more competitive. Fall is still very active, but once school starts the market begins to slow down for both Buyers and Sellers with the holiday season approaching. Winter may offer some price reductions, but home inventory drops dramatically, which can benefit both the Buyer and the Seller.

  • What is earnest money?

    Typically 1% of the offer which is given to the title company in the form of a check to show the Seller you are serious about the purchase. This money is held in escrow until the sale is complete. It ensures that the Buyer has a vested interest in the purchase and it will be used at closing to cover expenses. If by chance the Buyer backs out of the contract without cause, the earnest money may be forfeited.

  • How much down payment do I need?

    Depends on the type of loan you qualify for. Most lenders require at least 3% down, but with down payment assistance programs, or VA loans there could be no down payment required at all. Typically FHA loans call for 3.5%, conventional loans 10%, and investment or 2nd homes 15%-20%.

  • Do I need to sell my house first?

    No.  Many Buyers put their houses up for sale when they begin looking for a new home, but there’s no need to actually complete the sale before putting an offer on a new one. There are great loan programs that can bridge the overlap between buying and selling.

  • How soon can I close?

    Are you paying with cash or a mortgage?  When paying cash you can close in less than 2 weeks. But if you're getting a loan, this is completely between you and the lender. Banks typically like at least 45 days, but it can sometimes happen in 30 days.

  • Can I back out if I’m not happy?

    Sometimes there are instances that you can legally back out of your offer and get your earnest money returned. A couple of examples would be: if the Seller gives you a Counter Offer that you do not want to accept, or if an agreement cannot be reached after the Inspection Notice is submitted.

  • Do I need to buy an inspection?

    In most cases, yes.  Unless you are buying a property strictly for investment or tear-down, it’s always best to get an inspection of the house, sewer lateral, gas lines, septic/well, and fireplaces. There are additional inspections you can also order depending on your situation. Other inspections can include: air & water quality, radon, and mold.

  • Do I need an appraisal?

    It's up to the lender.  Lenders typically require an appraisal before closing the loan. For an FHA loan, the FHA requires a specific appraisal done by their own appraiser.

  • What are the closing costs?

    The fees vary with the price of the home.  A $200,000 loan can have closing costs that vary from $4000-$7000. These fees can include: Title & Lending fees, Inspections, Appraisals, Home Insurance and Taxes.

  • What is a home warranty?

    Usually a limited one year warranty purchased from an outside vendor that protects a variety of things that can range from appliances and HVAC to ceiling fans and garage door openers. The cost can range from $350-$1000 and is sometimes provided by the Seller.