Top Real Estate Questions for Buyers and Sellers

Buyers:

Question: How much money do I need to buy a house?
Answer: It all depends on the type of loan you are getting. You will need earnest money to hold the property which is typically $500 - $3000; inspection costs which run about $300 - $800; closing costs which can be built into the cost of the home if applicable and run about $3000 - $10,000; down payment which varies depending on the type of loan you are getting - usually between 1.5% - 20% of the purchase price of the home. 

Question: How long does a transaction take?
Answer: Some cash buyers can take a little as 2 weeks to close while short sales and foreclosures can take up to a year. The typical owner/seller transaction is between 25-45 days on average.

Question: Can I make an offer on any house I like?
Answer: yes, if you can afford it. If you can't afford it then your offer will typically be rejected. This is why it's important to know how much you can afford before looking at properties. Talk with a lender about getting pre-approved before looking at homes and keep your search to that price range. 

Question: Can I buy a house on my own? Can I Buy a house from a FOR SALE BY OWNER?
Answer: yes. You don't have to be licensed to facilitate a real estate transaction, HOWEVER, you may not know all the legalities and contracts needed and in this case it's best to hire a real estate attorney to make sure everything is done correctly. If you don't want to pay for an attorney, a real estate agent will do all this for you at no cost to the buyer.

Sellers:

Question: Can I sell my home myself?
Answer: Yes. There are no laws against selling your home yourself. However, if you don't know the latest rules and legalities I suggest getting the help of a real estate attorney or simple hire an agent. 70% of FSBO's end up using an agent within 2 months of listing. That's a high percentage! Think about it...

Question: How much tax do I have to pay when selling my house?
Answer: The excise tax you will have to pay is required on real estate sales plus any state and local taxes. These are typically a percentage of the sale price and will usually be added in the closing costs. You won't have to pay capital gains on a home sale if it's under $250,000 for singles and $500,000 for married although there are some exceptions. Check with your agent about specifics for your situation and your area.

This is an on-going article that changes depending on the questions we get. We always want to provide accurate and up to date information for our clients. If you have other questions you would like answered feel free to call us or contact us any time.
Donald Payne
Donald Payne
Founder/ Broker