Is now a good time to buy?
Despite the media and certain advertisers telling us it’s always a good time to buy real estate this important decision is always dependent on each individual and their circumstances. Depending on the timing it can be the wrong or the right time for you. Many times moving is job related which means it’s probably the right time to buy. If you are just wanting to move make sure to study your market closely to see what prices are doing before you make the decision to move.
Should I buy a home or rent?
This question again depends on your particular market and your situation. If it is a financial decision then renting may be right for you. However, when you’re unable to paint the interior the colors you like or change other things in your rental home then owning gives you the control of how you want your house to look. Another benefit is you won’t have to move in case your landlord decides to sell when you lease is up.
How do I choose a Realtor?
The Web has certainly changed the way in which consumers search for property. You can begin quite a bit earlier in the process and spend much more time doing your individual research. So use the Internet for initial research. With regards to working with a Realtor you might want to use someone referred to you by a friend. Or you might start emailing several agents some questions and see which are most responsive and helpful.
Should I buy an existing or new home?
This is for the most part personal preference. The latest bells and whistles are usually in new homes. However, if price and the best investment are important to you many times you can purchase a very similar existing property for less.
What about buying a foreclosure?
If you can pay cash you should look at foreclosures. If you have to finance your home with a lender it becomes a little more of a challenge. Lenders normally want the property to be move in ready and alot of foreclosures need many repairs. Those that don’t are in more demand(usually) and it’s more difficult to get a really good deal.
Where are the best areas to buy?
Most real estate professionals will agree that the times of rapid appreciation are over. There are always areas that are more desirous and they will hold value better or appreciate faster. Your decision on where to purchase should be based on how you will enjoy living in that neighborhood and what your commute will be like.
Can I get a good deal by making a low offer?
Really depends on the market conditions, inventory of homes, and area you are buying in. Listen to the advice of your Realtor. Too low and you normally won’t even get a response back from the seller. Just make sure to be realistic and the good deals will come.
Where can I get a mortgage?
Asking your agent for several mortgage broker recommendations is a good place to start. Has a friend or relative financed a home recently? Online searches can also give you a starting place. Just make sure to interview several companies and work with the one you trust the most who you feel will work with you in the best way.
Can I still finance a property with less than 20% down?
Yes, but it won’t be as easy as it was in the past. Loans backed by FHA can still be financed with 3.5% down but there is a good chance this will go up if current proposed laws get passed. Getting a conventional loan nowadays with less than 20% as a down is not common.
How long do I need to own the property to get my money out?
Most real estate analysts won’t predict this but the optimists will tell you 5 years and the pessimists will tell you 8 years or more. As with most property it depends on many economic factors and the area your home is located in.
When is the right time to sell my home?
In real estate markets where buyers are hard to find, or inventory is very high, it’s usually not a great idea to sell your home unless you absolutely have to. If you must relocate because of your job or the real estate market in your area is healthy you should probably list it for sale. (If you’re in a down market another option to consider is renting your current home if you have the financial means).
What does CMA mean?
It stands for for Comparative Market Analysis. Your agent will do one or more of these to compare your home to others recently sold and currently listed. This will give you a good idea of what your listing price needs to be. Agents will also do these for buyers to help them determine what price to offer on a home.
How much should I list my home for?
The best answer to this is that it’s the price at which your property will sell at or sooner than the average “Days On Market” for homes in your community. This is something you should discuss quite thoroughly with your real estate professional.
Can I help a buyer with financing?
This depends on the lender that the buyer is using and what the financing program is, there are usually ways that the seller can help. Many times paying for part of the buyer closing costs is permitted.
What does DOM stand for?
It means Days On Market. This is the number of days that a property has been listed with the multiple listing service. Sometimes you will see CDOM which means Cumulative Days On Market. This number represents the entire time it has been for sale. For example the home has been taken off the market for a short period of time and then put back on.
What period of time is excessive for a property to be on the market?
This really varies depending on your particular market at any given time. It can also depend on what type of community like golf community, age restricted development or areas where young families live and are moving up. Your real estate agent should be able to give you a good idea about this.
How are home inspections handled?
Once the seller and buyer agree on a price and have a contract the buyer will schedule a home inspector. Normally the inspection has to be done within 10 days of the contract being accepted. Once the inspection is done the report is prepared for the buyer. The buyer can then decide if they want to ask for any concessions or repairs from the sellers.
How do we negotiate repairs with the seller?
An addendum is completed that outlines the problems with the property that the buyer wants fixed. The seller has 5 days to respond and can comply, refuse or partially comply. This is the 2nd second phase of negotiation.
Do I need title insurance?
You should ALWAYS have title insurance and if your financing the property your lender will require it. You have certain rights in owning real property. The title insurance policy will cover your ownership and defend you against covered threats to your real property rights of ownership.
What is the MLS and how does it work?
The Multiple Listing Service is a cooperative formed by the real estate brokers in a given region. They list their sellers’ properties on the MLS and offer to cooperate (with a commission) to other member brokers and their agents if and when they bring a buyer for one of their listings. The seller usually agrees to a percentage amount for listing with the broker and the common share to the buyer agent broker is normally 50% of that commission amount.