Buying a home requires a lot of decisions from the buyer. What area would the buyer like to live in, what size of home is ideal, what style of home and even whether to buy one that needs some fixing up or one that is ready to move into. With so many decisions to make, it’s understandable that buyers have a lot of questions as well. Here are the top 6 questions buyers have when buying a home:
1. Should I meet with a mortgage lender/bank before I begin looking for a home?
Yes! At minimum, you’ll want to get pre-qualified, or even better pre-approved so you know how much your lender will finance for your new home. They’ll also be able to tell you about any special programs or incentives you might qualify for, such as down-payment assistance. Also, when you are ready to put in an offer, the seller will know you’ve already started the process and are a serious buyer.
2. Do I really need a buyer’s agent/ realtor? And who pays for their services?
Buying a home can be a complex process with multiple rounds of negotiations, a ton of paperwork and hours of research looking for homes that meet your needs. If it sounds like a lot of work, that’s because it is. A great buyer’s agent handles all of the busy work, finds great homes for you to view and sets up the appointments to see them (showings) and is with you through the entire process of placing an offer and getting the home you want under contract. Typically, the seller pays the fees/commissions for both the listing agent and the buyer’s agent in the majority of cases.
3. How many homes should I look at before choosing one?
A great buyer’s agent will tell you, “as many as it takes to find the right one for you.” However, it’s helpful to keep local market conditions in mind. There might be a limited number of homes available in your desired area that meet your needs and price range. Being open-minded about additional neighborhoods and home options could help you find something wonderful that you weren’t expecting.
4. What is earnest money?
Earnest money, also called a Good Faith Deposit is a deposit given to the seller’s agent and held in escrow by the real estate company they work with. It demonstrates the buyer’s interest and intent to purchase the home. At closing, the earnest money deposit is subtracted as money already paid toward the sale.
5. If I own a home currently and am buying a new home, how does that process work? Do I buy a new home first or sell my current one first?
This question is a little more difficult to answer. The best thing to do is to talk with your realtor about conditions in your market and ask what their recommendation is. There are good and bad points to either option. If you buy a new home before selling your current home, the good point is that you already know where you will be moving. The down side is when finalizing the purchase of the new home depends on the sale of the current one. If your current home doesn’t sell quickly; the seller of your new home might back out and sell to a more immediate buyer. However, if you sell your current home before you find and purchase your new home, you could face a period of time with no place to live.
6. What happens after my offer is accepted?
A list of things take place after the seller accepts your offer, such as inspections, final appraisal, title, survey, abstract, other paperwork required for closing, finalizing mortgage process with lender, any fixes resulting from inspections, final walk-through and then closing.
Buying a home is a major milestone, but the process doesn’t have to be a mystery. We’ve covered the answers to the top 6 questions buyers have when buying a home. Your Myrtle Beach realtor, James Haas, is your step-by-step partner to helping you find and buy the home of your dreams.