Buyer & Seller FAQ
It's known that home buying and selling comes with many questions. The real estate industry, rules, and regulations change often and it's important to have a REALTOR® on your side that knowns local market conditions and can walk you through buying and selling step by step. Check out some of the most frequently asked questions by buyers and sellers below and let us know if we can help you in your home journey!
Top Buyer Questions:
1. Do I really need a REALTOR® when buying a home?
Yes! The list of reasons why you should have a REALTOR® on your team when buying a home is long. They are licensed professionals who work on your behalf and advocate for your interests. In most cases, the seller will have a REALTOR®. You want an agent that can help with negotiations and walk you through how to make an offer on a home. Real estate professionals help you find homes in your budget that fit your needs, dig up facts on your potential new neighborhood, navigate the home inspection, decipher paperwork, request and review seller disclosures, negotiate offers, and more. Keep in mind, not all agents are the same. Be sure whoever you choose is professional, experienced, and knows your local market.
2. What is a buyer’s market?
A buyer’s market features declining home prices and reduced demand. This can occur because of economic disruption (like well-known employers shutting down operations,) an upward trend in interest rates (reduces the total number of potential buyers,) short-term drop in interest rates (gives borrowers a temporary edge with higher purchasing power before prices react to the changes in interest rate,) high inventory (downward pressure on prices of older homes because of a new subdivision,) and natural disasters.
3. Should I buy or continue to rent?
The decision to buy a home comes with many moving factors. For most, it is the biggest financial decision one makes. A few factors to consider include your age, your finances, your neighborhood, your future plans, and the current real estate and mortgage market. It’s a good decision to sit down with your REALTOR® to discuss your current financial situation and plans so they can map out the right decision for you.
4. Should I talk to a bank before buying a home?
YES! Getting pre-approved by a bank before you start looking at homes is very important. They will help you understand exactly what you can afford so by the time you hire a real estate agent; you’ll know what price range to look in. For first-time home buyers, many banks offer programs to help guide you through the process. Talking with a bank will also help you understand exactly what costs are associated with buying a home; down payments, pre-paid items, and escrows can be explained thoroughly by a mortgage professional. They can help you choose the best financing option for you and whether or not you should ask the seller to contribute to your closing costs.
5. How much do I pay a real estate agent to help me purchase a home?
In most home sales there are two real estate agents involved in the deal: one for the buyer and one for the seller. Buyer’s agents are compensated by the listing agent for bringing buyers to the table. When the home sells, the listing agent splits the listing fee with the buyer’s agent. Therefore, buyers don’t pay agents.
Top Seller Questions:
1. How do you figure out the value of my house?
Our team will use comparable sales to determine the fair market value of your home. To do so we take numerous factors into account such as similar homes that have sold in close proximity to your property, competing properties that are in the general price point, the size, style, and age of your home, the condition of your property, included amenities, the age of your home, the desirability of your lot, and the appeal of your neighborhood.
2. What should I do to prepare my home for showings?
Showings are crucial in the sale of your home as the most important moment is the buyer’s first impression. Take note of a few simple tasks you can complete to ensure the buyer can envision themselves in your home.
-Make sure your home is clean and tidy both inside and outside. Remove excess clutter to make the home feel as spacious as possible.
-Open your curtains and blinds to let in natural sunlight. As well as turning on lights in any area that may need additional lighting.
-Have great storage space? Show it off! More often than not, storage ranks high on a buyer’s priority list. Declutter your cabinets and closets by stashing items in bins/baskets.
-Scrub your bathrooms! Remove hard water stains from sinks and faucets.
-Erase signs of pets. We love your furry friends as much as you do but potential buyers may be allergic to fir or turned off by pet odors.
3. What is a seller’s market?
A seller's market occurs when increased demand for homes drives up listing prices. This can happen due to economic factors (local labor markets heating up, bringing in new residents and increasing home prices,) lower interest rates (making homes more affordable, creating more interest from buyers, especially first-time home buyers,) a short-term spike in interest rates, and low inventory (less available homes on the market driving prices to increase.)
4. How long will it take to sell my house?
The time it takes to sell your home depends on your location and the conditions of the local housing market. Additional factors include, your listing price, the condition your home is in, and the marketing strategy your agent uses. At any time, Integrity Pro Realty can pull a market report to assess your location’s data. It varies by state and even by county and city. Your market is specific. Market knowledge is one of the biggest reasons to hire a reputable Realtor. Our agents can give you a lot of valuable information about your market and help you understand what it means to you and your sale.
5. What costs should I consider in selling my home?
There are a myriad of costs to consider when selling your home. Luckily, most of the time, they won’t require a payment out-of-your-pocket rather many come out of your sale proceeds at the time of closing. Generally speaking, you can expect to pay about 10% of your home’s sale price in expenses and fees. This can include staging and prepping your home, seller concessions, repair costs, homeownership and overlap costs, closing costs, and your real estate agent’s commission.