Frequently Asked Questions
Should I buy, instead of rent?
You’ll love the feeling of having something that’s all yours – a home where your own personal style will tell the world who you are. A thriving vegetable garden in the backyard, a tiled entryway, a yellow kitchen…when you own, you can do it all your way! But there’s more to owning a home than personal satisfaction. You can deduct the cost of your mortgage loan interest from your federal income taxes, and usually from your state taxes, too.
And interest will compose nearly all of your monthly payment , for over half the number of years you’ll be paying your mortgage. This adds up to hefty savings at the end of each year. And you’re also allowed to deduct the property taxes you pay as a homeowner. If you rent, you write your monthly check and it’s gone forever. Another financial plus in owning a home is the possibility its value will go up through the years.
Should I use a real estate broker? How do I find one?
Using a real estate broker is a very good idea. All the details involved in home buying, particularly the financial ones, can be mind-boggling. A good real estate professional can guide you through the entire process and make the experience much easier. A real estate broker will be well-acquainted with all the important things you’ll want to know about a neighborhood you may be considering…the quality of schools, the number of children in the area, the safety of the neighborhood, traffic volume, and more. He or she will help you figure the price range you can afford and search the classified ads and multiple listing services for homes you’ll want to see. With immediate access to homes as soon as they’re put on the market, the broker can save you hours of wasted driving-around time.
When it’s time to make an offer on a home, the broker can point out ways to structure your deal to save you money. He or she will explain the advantages and disadvantages of different types of mortgages, guide you through the paperwork, and be there to hold your hand and answer last-minute questions when you sign the final papers at closing. And you don’t have to pay the broker anything! The payment comes from the home seller – not from the buyer.
When I find the home I want, how much should I offer?
Again, your real estate broker can help you here. But there are several things you should consider:
- is the asking price in line with prices of similar homes in the area?
- Is the home in good condition or will you have to spend a substantial amount of money making it the way you want it? You probably want to get
a professional home inspection before you make your offer. Your real estate broker can help you arrange one.
- How long has the home been on the market? If it’s been for sale for awhile, the seller may be more eager to accept a lower offer.
- How much mortgage will be required? Make sure you really can afford whatever offer you make.
- How much do you really want the home? The closer you are to the asking price, the more likely your offer will be accepted. In some cases,
you may even want to offer more than the asking price, if you know you are competing with others for the house.
Am I more likely to find a buyer with an agent?
Definitely. Real estate agents have a large customer base, and your old home may be the perfect new home for one of their customers. Also, people new to the area or those that don’t have a lot of time to house hunt will be more apt to use an agent, and free them up for other commitments. New buyers who don’t know the business that well generally go with an agent to make the learning process less bumpy, and easier to understand. Again, this is why we have real estate agents, to make your lives easier.
Who decides how much I will sell my property for ?
The decision on whether to accept, reject or counter offer any offer you receive on your property is entirely up to you. No one can sell your house but you. Your real estate agent will help you make that decision by providing you with all the information and pertinent facts relating to the offer to let you make an informed decision.
What if I price too high?
An overpriced piece of property is typically one that will stay on the market for a long time. By increasing the price tag on your house or building, you cut out a large group of buyers who may be ready to buy now, but can’t float the bill. Usually, a house stays on the market for a while at one price, which decreases as time moves on. Once again, this will cause your house to be on the market for quite a while as buyers wait for your home to come into their price range. If you plan to do this “just to see,” then draw up a schedule for yourself scaling down the price of your house so that it is at a marketable value after 6 weeks. You never know, you might get lucky!
Also, you and the buyer may agree that your property is worth a greater amount, but when they go and try to get a loan, the appraiser may not agree. The lender will loan the lesser of two figures. The asking price of the house, or the appraised value. If your price is too high, the bank may not approve their loan, and you will lose the sale. Now might be a good idea to come down on that price!