A Guide to
First-time
Home Buying

& Reasons to Avoid
the Traditional Path
1.

WHAT IS A BUYER'S AGENT? WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A BUYER'S AGENT AND A LISTING AGENT?

A buyer's agent is a licensed agent who represents the buyer(s). The listing agent is also known as the seller's agent. He or she represents the seller during the offer process.

2.

Is there a fee to hire you as a buyer's agent?

There is no fee to hire me as a buyer's agent. The buyer's agent will be compensated with a commission by the seller once the house closes.

3.

What paperwork am I expected to do on my own?

There will be no paperwork you need to do on your own, your real estate agent will have all the forms pre-filled out for you and will send out all forms for you to review and e-sign before submitting your offer. The only paperwork you would submit upfront is to have an updated pre-approval which is current. Anything older than 6 months is no longer valid.

4.

Who draws up the buying contract once I've selected a home?

The initial offer will draw up the selection and the listing agent or the seller’s attorney usually draws up the purchase and sales contract.

5.

How can I properly inspect a house?

To inspect a house properly, you will need to hire a professional home inspector. They will inspect the property for you. There are lead paint and pest inspectors as well for a separate cost.

6.

Will I be dealing with an agent or directly with the owner of the house I'm interested in?

If you are interested in a property, contact your buyer agent and he or she will help get you an appointment for the house. The buyer agent will call the listing agent to set up the meeting.

7.

Are there banks you would recommend to get better rates on loans to buy a house?

My recommendation is usually go where you are currently banking, where you already have a checking/savings account. They would usually give you certain incentives and have special loan programs for current customers. Also, if you were to get a pre-approval, go to the bigger banks like Bank of America, Citizens or Citibank.

8.

What would you say is a good interest rate/mortgage (?) percentage on a loan?

The current mortgage interest for a 30 year fixed mortgage is 2.2-2.3. It is best to put at least 20 percent down payment to avoid paying PMI (Private mortgage insurance). This is a type of mortgage insurance you might be required to pay for if you have a conventional loan. PMI is usually required when you have a conventional loan and make a down payment of less than 20 percent of the home's purchase price.

9.

What are all the costs of getting a mortgage? Talk about the loan estimate- credit report, appraisals, title policy and escrow.

The costs of getting a mortgage include an appraisal, credit report, title policy and attorney fees. These could range from $5k-$8K or more depending on your loan amount. Your loan officer would explain the loan estimate once you start your mortgage paperwork.

10.

How long does it take to fund the loan? What if we don't close on time?

A loan usually closes between 4-6 weeks from the time you sign the purchase and sales contract. If we don't close on time, there is usually a week or two week extension and usually the attorney would request further extensions for any unexpected issues.

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