FAQs

Encouraging Freedom. Fostering Sustainable Wealth.

We hope that the below frequently asked questions (FAQs) address your burning questions or concerns.

We are here to assist you with any other questions you have.

Why should I consider partnering with a REALTOR®?

A REALTOR® is one of your most valuable partners in real estate. We will walk you through every part of the process, transaction and beyond - educating and informing you of all your options. REALTORS® aren’t just agents. They’re professional members of the National Association of REALTORS® and subscribe to its strict code of ethics. Please, learn more about the REALTOR® difference at https://www.nar.realtor/about-nar/governing-documents/the-code-of-ethics.

Should I buy instead of rent?

This is a personal decision that should be considered at length based on your lifestyle, goals, budget and other factors. The benefits of buying a house rather than renting can include tax breaks, potential value appreciation (equity), freedom, security and a sense of pride.

Am I ready to buy?

Ask yourself the following questions when considering whether you’re ready to buy:

  • Do I have a steady job or business income?

  • Has it been consistent for the last two to three years?

  • Do I have a positive bill-paying history?

  • Do I have few outstanding long-term debts, like car payments?

  • Have I saved for a down payment?

  • Can I afford to pay a mortgage, taxes, utilities, and insurance?     

 

Does my credit score impact my ability to buy?

A credit score numerically summarizes an individual’s credit history and gives a snapshot of their financial standing to a lender. Mortgage lenders use the score to decide who receives loans and at what interest rate. The higher the score means the better the chance of getting a loan with an attractive interest rate.

If your score is low, it is not impossible to get a loan but it will take longer. These three different companies keep credit histories: Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian. Before applying for a loan, get your consider credit reports from all three companies and connect with a REALTOR® partner to create a plan.

How much do I need for a down payment?

Saving for the down payment is the greatest obstacle for many first-time homebuyers. Lenders expect between 3% to 20% for a down payment. It varies according to the lender’s requirements, the type and length of the loan and available programs. Make a budget, set a goal, and stick with the plan. Saving and sacrificing is how most people come up with their first down payment.

 

What is the difference between pre-qualified and pre-approved?

Pre-qualification: Getting pre-qualified for a mortgage gives first-time homebuyers an indication of how much they “might” qualify to borrow. This mortgage amount is not guaranteed because no information has yet been verified.

Pre-approval: Better yet is getting pre-approved for a mortgage, which is based on a real credit score, and financial documents submitted, like tax returns and pay stubs. The buyer has more to offer when making a deal and in a competitive market this can be a definite plus.

What's the first step of the home buying process?

Identifying a REALTOR® partner and/or getting pre-approved - Unless you are paying cash for a house, you will need to get a mortgage. In order to know how much home, you can afford, you will need to get a loan pre-approval. These are the first-steps in the home buying process.

How much is my house worth?

There are two main factors that determine how much your home is worth: its condition and the level of demand for homes like it. To gauge what your home might command on the open market, your best bet is to look at comparable sales of similar size and condition to yours. A REALTOR® will advise of an appropriate pricing for your house.

How long will it take to sell my home?

Time to sell really depends on where you’re located and the conditions of your local housing market. Your listing price, the condition of your home, and the marketing and staging prowess can also play a role. So, price competitively and make sure that you and your REALTOR® are getting the place in front of as many eyeballs as possible. 

When is the best time of year to sell a house?

Real estate is a very localized industry, and the best time to sell really depends on your market, as well as your unique situation as a homeowner.

You can sell your home at any time of the year, but there are definitely some months when selling is easier, faster, and more profitable. In general, spring and summer are the hottest home buying seasons of the year.

How much does it cost to sell my house?

There are many costs involved in selling a house. Fortunately, most of them do not require an out-of-pocket payment, per se. Instead, many come out of your sales proceeds at closing.

Generally, you can expect to pay about 10%-15% of your home’s sale price in fees and expenses. These include things like:

  • Your real estate agent’s commission (varies)

  • Staging, prepping and repair costs (varies)

  • Seller concessions (1 to 3%)

  • Homeownership and overlap costs (1%)

  • Closing costs (1 to 3%)

 

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