Top 5 questions from buyers

Answers to 5 common questions we get from buyers

It’s exciting — and a little scary — to think about buying a house. Whether it's your first house or your 5th, every experience will be a little different. We have the answers to these 5 questions buyers routinely ask us. Team TLC is dedicated to helping you navigate the home buying process from start to finish. Reach out so we can help you.

Lake view

1. What is the first step in buying a home?

The absolute first step is to get approved for a mortgage. Without being approved for a mortgage it will be quite difficult, if not impossible, to purchase a new home. Not only will most sellers not accept an offer without a pre-approval but you won't know how much money you have to spend. We have partnered with several reputable mortgage advisor in Tampa Bay and we would love to connect you to start the process.

2. Should I sell my current property before buying a new one?

This is a tricky question, and the answer primarily depends on one’s funds and ability to find temporary housing. If you need more equity to purchase a new home, then it is best to sell one’s current home before purchasing your next one. The market, and some sellers, is open to contingencies again (your home sells then the deal as a buyer goes through). 

Outdoor living space

3. How many houses should I view before purchasing one?

The number of houses you look at can depend greatly. However, it is much easier today to connect with your clients virtually. You can now see houses online by taking virtual tours or seeing detailed photographs. So, you can help your client by giving them access to your online systems so that they can view as many properties as they desire. Once a list is narrowed down, you can visit properties with them or on their behalf.

4. What is a mortgage and how does it work?

A mortgage is a type of loan to finance a property. The majority of people are not wealthy enough to purchase a house in total. Thus, a mortgage serves as a secure loan that comes with a fixed interest rate and gets paid off over 15 or 30 years. If need be, your client can refinance their mortgage and payments in the future.

5. What is escrow and how does earnest money work?

An escrow is a term that refers to a neutral third party hired to handle the exchange of money, property transaction, and related documents. The escrow holds the money and documents in a trust until all terms and conditions of the sale are satisfied. When depositing the earnest money, it is wise to use an escrow account.

Earnest money is similar to a deposit when renting a place. It is made in good faith to demonstrate to the seller that the buyer’s offer is legitimate. As a real estate agent, you should ask your client for the earnest money as a deposit in the form of a check or cash. The amount is usually 1-2% of the selling price and essentially takes the property off the market. The money also gives the buyer extra time to conduct a title search, get an inspection and property appraisal, and financing.

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