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Frequently Asked Questions

First Time Home Buyers


Frequently Asked Questions

Should I use a real estate professional?

Yes! In today's complicated real estate market, a real estate professional is even more important than ever. It would take you months, and even years, to gain the knowledge offered by a true real estate professional. From knowledge of the market, to understanding the financing maze, to protecting your interests while hammering out the details of a real estate purchase contract, your professional real estate agent can save you time, money, worry and aggravation.

What is the MLS?

MLS stands for "Multiple Listing Service." Any real estate agent that is a member of the MLS may assist a purchaser in all aspects of the sale of any property that is listed in the MLS. In other words, a property that is listed with Company A may be sold by one of the agents from Company B. A person wanting to buy the property listed with Company A does not have to go through Company A to make an offer on that property.

How does the MLS benefit sellers?

By listing their property with a member-company of the MLS, a seller is gaining a broader exposure of his/her property to the market. Each agent that is a member of the MLS is notified of the availability of that property for sale. In effect, the seller has each member of the MLS working for him/her. The seller is also taking advantage of the expertise of the professional real estate sales associate. The seller no longer has to worry about missing telephone calls about the property, or learning about different financing options, or being home to show their property to prospective buyers.

How does the MLS benefit buyers?

Because members of the MLS can show and sell any property that is listed with the MLS, a buyer of real estate can save themselves an exceptional amount of time by working with a single agent that gets to know the buyer's needs and wants. Rather than driving all over town from property to property, then going from company to company to see the properties of interest, buyers can go to one person to access information about all of the properties that he/she may be interested in.

Should I start the loan process before I make an offer?

Yes! Most, if not all, sellers are unwilling to take their property off of the market while waiting to see whether you can qualify for a mortgage loan. As a result, very few sellers will accept an offer to purchase without also being provided a letter of pre-approval for the buyer. In order to obtain a pre-approval letter, buyers should go to the mortgage department of the bank they normally use, or talk to your real estate agent for suggestions. This will make the buying process much easier for you.

What types of financing are available?

There are a wide variety of ways in which you are able to finance the purchase of real estate. The most common loans used are FHA, VA and conventional. However, because each person's situation is unique, and because each property is unique, it is a good idea to contact a mortgage loan specialist to discover the best "fit" for your particular situation. Your real estate professional should be able to provide you with the names of several people that will be qualified to help you decide which type of loan will best suit your needs.

Should I list my house with a real estate firm before I start looking for my new home?

Yes! Very few sellers are willing to take their homes off of the market while waiting to see if your home will sell. This is especially true when you haven't even started to market your property through a real estate professional. However, when you can tell the seller that your home is in the hands of a competent real estate agent, the seller knows that there is a much better chance of your home selling within a reasonable time. Even better, is when you can tell the seller that your home is already "under contract." This will make it much less risky for the seller to accept your offer to purchase.

How do I make an offer to purchase?

Once you have found the home you wish to purchase, your real estate agent will assist you in completing all of the necessary documents. These documents include a variety of disclosures relating to the property and the people involved, and the Purchase Agreement. It is important that you ask your real estate agent any and all questions that you may have about these documents. After completing the Purchase Agreement and disclosure documents, your real estate agent will then present them to the agent representing the Seller of the property you wish to purchase. If the Seller accepts your offer, you have purchased a house!

Should I have a "Home Inspection?

" YES!!! When you are purchasing property, whether residential or commercial, you should hire the services of a reputable, and qualified, real estate inspection company. Most Purchase Agreements used by real estate professionals specifically provide for the availability of an inspection of the property. If you choose not to have an inspection of the property, however, beware! Once you have accepted delivery of the deed, in many cases, you have accepted the property in its current condition.
Do not confuse an appraisal with an inspection! In some cases, the appraisal may appear to be as good as an inspection. However, an appraiser never conducts a thorough home inspection. An inspection of the property you are buying should allow you to fully understand the condition of that property.

If you have any further questions, please contact us and we’ll be more than happy to provide you with the answers you need.


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