With over 28 years in the real estate industry, I have worked with countless families and individuals to help assist with their real estate needs. When purchasing a home, whether for the first time or your second or third property, I completely understand how challenging the home buying process can be. Below is a list of answers to frequently asked questions I’ve received from home buyers throughout the years.
Do I Need to Talk with a Bank Prior to Viewing Homes?
It’s actually critical to speak with a bank or lender before looking at homes so you can get pre-approved. When you talk to a bank before looking at homes, you can better assess how much you can afford. If it’s your first time buying a home, make sure you absolutely talk to the bank! There are plenty of first time home buyer programs, not to mention, you’ll want to know what costs are affiliated with buying a home.
It can be tricky to differentiate between a down payment, pre-paid items and escrows so you’ll want to get in touch with an experienced mortgage professional to assist you.
Can I Buy a Home Before Selling My Current Property?
There are ups and downs to buying a home before selling your current property, so to put it simply, there is no concrete answer. If you would like to purchase a home before selling your current one then you can be at ease knowing you have something lined up. However, most sellers will not accept an offer that is contingent upon selling your home, so you will have to qualify to buy a home without selling your home which can be challenging and financially stressing. Another option is to sell your home first with a delayed closing option. Finding a buyer willing to wait for an extended closing can be challenging, but my experience will guide you through the process.
Who Will Pay the Realtor Fees?
In a majority of real estate transactions, the seller typically pays the Realtor fees. Keep in mind that it is most of the time, but it’s certainly not guaranteed.
What is a Short Sale?
A short sale is when the lenders accept less than the entire balance of the amount owed, releasing their lien on real property. This transaction typically occurs when homeowners sell their property but owe lenders more than the value of their home.
When investing in a short sale, a foreclosure is still possible and it can be very tough to get a home loan from the bank when the mortgage owed is higher than the sales price.
What is the Average Cost of Utility Bills?
Utility bills are one of the major additional costs to keep in mind when buying a home. The local utility company can provide you with the average utility bills over the course of the past year. On occasion, the homeowner will provide you with utility bills.
When Will the Seller Respond to My Offer?
The offer expiration is considered the “time period or life of the offer” which can last anywhere from upon presentation to three or four days. The average is within 12-24 hours.
What Do I Do if My Offer is Rejected?
There are four responses to an offer:
- Counter Offer
- Rejected Offer
- No Response
You can put in a higher offer if the original offer is rejected. It’s unlikely that you won’t hear a response at all from the home seller unless they were extremely offended by your original offer.