Top Five Real Estate Home Buyer Questions

Buying the home comes with a lot of questions and if you've never purchased property before you're probably wondering some of these basic questions. Here is what we feel are the top questions that many homebuyers have.

What's the first step to buying a house?

While a lot of people start their search by looking at homes first, that's actually not the first step. The first step is to figure out how much you can afford. Think of it this way, it can be very discouraging to find a home you love only to discover later you can't afford it or, that you can afford it but you haven't in the financial homework necessary ahead of time and you may miss out on putting in an offer. Sit down with a lender first and talk about how much you can afford in a monthly mortgage payment. The lender will then take those monthly figures and turn them into a ballpark price range. Keep your price range within $30,000 or so depending on how much you can afford and try not to go over unless you're considering buying a house that's been on the market for a long time and you can offer a lower amount.

How long does it take to buy a house?

From start to finish it can take anywhere from four weeks to six months or more and that goes from the time you search for a property until you close. However, once you've made an offer on a home, it typically takes between 30 and 60 days to close on a property. This gives everyone enough time to schedule home inspections, appraisals, get your financing figured out and everyone on the same page for final signing.

What's the difference between a seller's market and a buyers market?

A buyers market is when the buyers have the upper hand. This means there may be a lot of homes on the market and prices are reasonably low. A sellers market is where the seller has the upper hand. There may be tons of buyers and not many homes, which means that sellers can increase their price and there's more competition. Your real estate agent should be able to tell you what type of market wherein and how you can adjust your offer and your finances around the market.

How much does it cost to use a real estate agent?

This is one of the most common questions and it has one of the best answers as well. For buyers to use a real estate agent it costs them nothing. Agents are paid a commission from the sale of a property so it doesn't matter which property of buyer chooses, that agent will receive a commission from the seller because they have brought the buyer to purchase the home. This is not to say that the buyers have ulterior motives in selling a particular home, only that it's completely free for a buyer to use the experience and knowledge of a buyers agent.

Can I buy a house from the listing agent or directly from a homeowner?

If the home owner is selling the property themselves, you can still have a buyers agent help facilitate the transaction as long as the homeowners willing to negotiate some sort of commission with the buyers agent. You cannot however go directly to the homeowner if they have listed through a real estate brokerage. Your agent needs to go to the listing agent for communication and negotiation. If the buyer goes directly to the listing agent without the aid of a buyers agent, the listing agent then gets the full commission and they do have an ulterior motive in selling that particular house. So, while you can do with the listing agent, your needs and interests may not be the top priority since selling the house is really the top priority.

For more information or answers to any of your real estate questions feel free to give us a call at any time. Start your Columbia real estate search here or browse the website for more valuable information on buying and selling in Columbus Ohio.

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