Considering purchasing a home this year? If so, you might be wondering what the process looks like and how you should proceed. For your consideration, the answers to the following home buyer’s questions that first-time home buyers ask may prove helpful.
Frequently Asked First-Time Home Buyer’s Questions:
Question #1: How much do you charge for your services?
A little known, but greatly appreciated part of purchasing Real Estate is that the Buyer rarely pays anything to their agent for the professional representation they receive from them. In most scenarios, the Seller pays his or her agent and they offer any Buyer’s agent a “Cooperating Broker Commission”. This allows the Buyer and the Seller to receive top-notch representation. For the Seller, it means that every agent that has a buyer interested in that property will be well motivated to show it to that client!
So, if you were worried about paying a huge fee to your agent, breathe easy – and go find someone you trust to represent YOUR interests in your home purchase!
Question #2: Which mortgage lender should I use?
This is one of the most frequently asked home buyer’s questions. A mortgage lender is the financial institution that’s responsible for your loan. The Spokane market is unique, so having a local mortgage lender is critical. I have several lenders I recommend and will connect you with the best one possible for your situation. Reach out today so we can put you in contact with the best mortgage lender for your situation.
Question #3: How do I take care of a house?
It can seem scary to take on the responsibility of maintaining a home, but it doesn’t have to be. I recommend starting the process by hiring a reputable home inspector. This ensures that you know ahead of time about issues or repairs needed. Furnace having issues? Gutters clogged? Even after closing, I can help connect you with professionals in the area.
Question #4: Will my new house appreciate?
As of February 2020, we are (and have been) in a seller’s market. Because of this extended Seller’s market, and other factors, homes are appreciating at an exceptionally quick rate. If you buy a home right now you are almost guaranteed to see generous appreciation! Of course, the market is always changing. Check-in with a realtor you trust to see what the market is doing currently.
Question #5: How can I make sure I’m not overpaying?
In this market, people are paying a lot more than asking price. Does that mean they are overpaying? No, because the market is appreciating quickly. Right now, there is a good chance that you will pay more than the asking price.
The key is to recognize that the idea of overpaying for a home is a relative thing. Fair Market Value is defined as what an able and willing buyer is willing to pay a non-distressed seller.
For example, if a home goes on the market at $275,000 (asking price) and no one buys it, then you may be able to get it for $250,000. That means the market value for the house was $250,000, not $275,000.
On the flip side of that – if that same home goes on the market at $225,000 and sells for $250,000, then $250,000 is still the market value of the home, but the buyer had to pay more than the asking price. The list price (relative to the actual value of the home) depends on the Seller and their agent’s pricing strategy!
Having a good realtor that can show you the comparable sales in the area will help you recognize the market value of the home you want to buy.
Question #6: What if something comes on the market that’s better – after I’m under contract?
I’m not going to lie – it happens. There is a chance that a home might come on the market after you go under contract that looks better and maybe even costs less! We can’t control what’s on the market when you go to buy a home. We can only make the best decision based on our current circumstances.
Of course, the last thing I want you to do is close the door to your new home after closing and have immediate regret! Your circumstances and particular situation will dictate our process. If you need a home immediately, you might not have the luxury of waiting for the perfect house in the perfect area! Or, other times, when you do have time (you are content in your current home, but feel ready to make that move up (or “right-size”) purchase) it is okay to be really particular and wait for that “just right” home! So, you have to take one of two sides: you either have to get over the FOMO (fear of missing out) or, if you have the time, you need to wait until you find the home that is perfect for you.
Either way, at some point you have to take a deep breath and make the plunge with YOUR purchase!
Question #7: What does the closing process look like?
At your scheduled closing time you’ll sit down at the Title Company of your choice and sign a large stack of papers. Some of the documents will include the promissory note, mortgage/deed of trust, and the initial escrow disclosure. Keep in mind that your specific transaction may differ based on the type of home you buy and the guidelines for your area.
Once you’ve signed you want the keys, but you still have to be patient! The bank will send the funds to the closer (who distributes funds to the seller and other parties) and the sale will be recorded at the Courthouse. Only once the money transfers and the sale records will you receive your keys. And, in some cases, you still have to wait until 9 pm of the day it records! 9 pm is actually when possession officially occurs, though many sellers grant permission for keys to be exchanged once recording numbers are received.
Note: The closing process is another reason it’s a good idea to work with a local agent and mortgage lender. For example, professionals that work in this area know that the Spokane Courthouse closes at noon on Fridays. So, while we could schedule closing that day, things tend to go more smoothly when we avoid having a closing occur on a Friday. A seasoned agent will walk you through all those nuances.
Choose Your Seasoned Agent
Of course, you don’t have to remember all this. When you choose a seasoned agent, he or she will guide you through the process and answer questions along the way.
If you are ready to buy a home in Spokane County, there’s no better time than the present. I’d love the opportunity to chat with you about your situation. Let’s grab a cup of coffee and answer all your home buyer’s questions to decide what the best decisions are for your unique situation.