FAQs: Frequently Asked Questions

What is the first step to buying a home?

First, you should contact a mortgage lender and get pre-approved for a mortgage loan.  Most markets require a pre-approval letter when submitting an offer.  We can get you connected with licensed mortgage professionals if needed.  

At the same time as getting pre-approved, you should contact a Realtor.  Our real estate agents will sit down with you and go over the buying process to ensure that you know what to expect and get you into your new home! 

How long does it take to buy a home?

Buying a home can take on average 10-12 weeks.  This includes starting the search online, the loan approval process, finding a home, the title and closing process and everything in between. It all depends on the buyer, if they are paying cash or using a home loan and what the agreed upon closing date is between the buyer and seller.

Can I buy a new home before selling my current home?

Great question! It depends on how much equity you have in your current home and your overall financial situation. Yes, it is possible to buy before you sell.  There are many options when it comes to this. We advise you to discuss in more detail with your mortgage lender and your real estate agent.

How much do I have to pay a Realtor to help me buy a home?

Short answer: little to nothing.

Long answer: for most home sales, there are two real estate agents (listing agent / broker and buying agent / broker). Listing brokers represent sellers and charge a fee to represent them and market the property. Agents who represent buyers are compensated by the listing broker for selling the home (bringing the buyers). When the home is sold, the listing broker splits the listing fee with the buyer’s agent. Thus, buyers don’t pay their agents directly.

Should I order a home inspection?

Heck yes! We always recommend that you pay for a home inspection no matter what. Home inspections are highly recommended because they can reveal defects in the home that are not otherwise easily detected. They are also required with certain home loans. Home inspections bring peace of mind to one of the biggest investments of a lifetime. 

What is earnest money?

When making an offer on a home, a buyer will offer to pay earnest money to show good faith that they are serious about buying the home.  Typically, earnest money is 1-2% of the sale price of the home, but it is negotiable (as is almost everything in real estate). Buyers should be prepared to write a check for earnest money to be deposited after the offer is accepted. Be sure to verify with your real estate agent whether or not the earnest money will be returned to the buyer or kept by the seller if the deal doesn't go through.