Hello! Here are a few answers to some frequently asked questions. If you have other questions, let us know!
What are your office hours?
Do you have programs for first time buyers or buyers with no down payment?
We work with all types of buyers and sellers! For down payment assistance programs, we can connect you with some fabulous lenders that can look at your information and see which programs will work for you.
What kind of credit score do I need to buy a home?
A lot of programs require a credit score in the 600s or higher. The better your score, the less risk lenders see and you’ll likely get a better interest rate. There are a few programs to help lower credit score buyers and we have connections to mortgage lenders you can talk to about what it would take to raise your credit score a little as well.
How long does it take to buy a home?
The process can move pretty quickly. From the time you are pre-approved and start looking, we can often find a home in the first week or two. Then, it usually takes around 30 days to close and take possession of that home. All in all, that means you could be a home owner in as little as 4-6 weeks!
What is earnest money?
Earnest money is like a deposit. You put forward a sum of money (maybe 2% of the purchase price or so), within a couple days of having your offer accepted (that’s what we call going “under contract” on a home). The earnest money is applied towards your down payment and closing costs you are bringing to the closing of your home, so it’s not extra funds, just up front money. And, if you back out of the contract during one of the contingencies like the inspection period, you get your earnest money back.
Are there things we should do to our home to maximize value?
Yes, there is a benefit to making sure your home looks its best prior to putting it on the market. Often there are small projects that will pay off at resale. We can advise you about specific improvements that will increase your home’s marketability and value. We will also provide a professional home staging consultation. Part of a home’s appeal involves staging, which is everything from furniture placement to home fragrance. We will also give you quick tips and easy fixes to maximize your home’s appeal.
It is your decision as to what, if anything, you would like to do to maximize your home’s potential value. We never require our sellers to do certain things before listing their home…we simply educate them on the potential return and allow them to decide.
Should I get a home inspection and what does it cost?
Yes! Getting a home inspection is a good idea for every buyer, because it gives you a better understanding of the homes current condition. General home inspections vary in cost, but plan on spending $400 or more. And, you should consider if you want a few extras like a sewer scope (about $100-$150) to verify the sewer line in in good condition and perhaps a radon test (another $100 or so) to see the radon gas levels in the home. Other specialized inspections can also be done as well, from structural engineers to roofing inspections and more.
What if another agent tells us they can get more for the house?
Some agents will quote a higher listing price just to get your business, but an overpriced house will not sell. When you choose to work with us, we will conduct a comprehensive market analysis prior to recommending an asking price for your home. We will explain how we arrived at the price range, and will offer our professional opinion on how the market will value your home and respond to certain prices, but ultimately the decision as to asking price is up to you.
Do I need to sell before I buy? What if I can’t find my next home?
Every situation is unique and we’ll work with you on how and when to list your home and look for the next one. A lot depends on your financial situation as well as the market conditions. We won’t let you be homeless!
Will you be present at all showings?
For showings, potential buyers will bring their own agents to see your home. Most buyers prefer only their own agents be present when evaluating a prospective home. When we have one of our buyers who wants to see your home, or buyers who contact us in response to our marketing, we will be there with them.
Do I need to move out of my home to sell it?
In most cases, the answer is no. We can work with you to help you present your home in the best light for buyers.