Buying a house is exciting. It is also probably going to be the single-most expensive purchase you ever make. Keeping this in mind, we have created these questions and answers to help you through the process of buying a house.
1. Are you pre-approved for the home you are interested in buying? This will be the first question your agent will ask you. If you are pre-approved, and have a "proof of funds" letter, you will be asked to bring it to the showing. There is a difference of pre-qualified and pre-approved, so ask your lender for the pre-approved letter rather than the pre-qualified.
2. Do you have a deadline to move into the new home? This question is important because the seller will need to know this and if you plan on closing within a set number of days, all of the paperwork will have to be very well organized.
3. Have you completed your financial picture? In order to qualify for the loan, you will need to know where you stand financially. You can always look at our financial mortgage calculator.
4. Do you need to sell your first home before buying the second home? This is an important question as it may need to be a contingency in the offering contract and the seller will need to know this too.
5. What will you be using for earnest money? As a buyer, you will be responsible for placing down a deposit (earnest money) while making the offer.
6. When should you make an offer? If you like the house, it would be smart to make an offer. You can always add a contingency clause in the offer that you can back out of the offer within a set number of days. But, securing the offer is the most important parts of buying the house. Otherwise, you risk the fact that another buyer may make an offer before you and their deadline may be quicker than yours.
7. If you are buying the house, should you have the house inspected? Yes, if you are borrowing funds from a bank, they may require an inspection. The inspection may be requested by the bank, but the buyer will be the one paying for the inspection.
8. How do I know if the price is correct for the location? We will assist you with a complete market report of the homes sold, for sale, and active in your area and will review the report with you. This will allow you to make a logical decision on the offer.
9. How much are the agents fees? Typically, the seller pays the fees however, there are some fees that are negotiable.
10. Is this the neighborhood that you want and why? It is very important that you select the best area for you and your family. More importantly, you will have to ask yourself if the house is close to work, great schools, and shopping places.
11. What do you want in a home? Some people already know what they want in a home. Review your list with your spouse and ensure you are both on the same page.
12. Are you familiar with PMI insurance? If you are placing down less than 20% (or some lenders may request 22%) you will need to pay Private Mortgage Insurance. (PMI) This will be an added cost to your mortgage. Zillow has a great review of it here.
13. Do you know how much of a house you can afford? If you have not looked into this yet, this should be another of the first things you should look into. You can find our home mortgage calculator here
14. Why use a REALTOR? A REALTOR is a licensed agent in the state of Georgia. They have completed the required state mandated training, and can assist you in walking you through the steps in getting the house you want, or the house you want to sell.
15. Do REALTORS cost money? Typically, the seller pays a 6% service fee when selling their home. The buyer typically does not pay the fee.
16. Would I need to sign a contract? Per GEORGIA Real estate law, and official code 10-6A-1 et.seq, state law requires a broker representing a buyer or a seller as a client without first entering into a written agreement. If you would like to review the contract, please contact us.
17. How does a seller know the amount of money they will NET from the sale? We provide a NET sheet to you so you are fully aware of the financial implications of your transaction. This will give you an approximate dollar amount a seller will new when selling their home. A copy of the NET sheet is below for your review.
18. Will the house need an appraisal? If you are borrowing money from a bank, banks typically require an appraisal to meet the value of the home you are purchasing. If the appraisal does not meet the sales price, either the buyer may need to make a larger down payment, or the seller may need to come down on price. A second appraisal can also be requested. PS, the appraisal is requested by the bank, but is paid for by the buyer.
19. What happens once the contract is signed? Once the contract is signed, the contract will be sent to the closing attorney. They will immediately request a title search from the local county. As long as the title is not clouded (Or have issues), it should be returned to the attorney within 24 days. If the title comes back "clouded", there may be more legal items that will need to be completed.