Q. ISN'T THERE A RULE OF THUMB THAT SAYS SELLERS ALWAYS PRICE THEIR PROPERTIES HIGHER, EXPECTING TO COME DOWN?
A. Sometimes they do - sometimes they don't - sometimes they will price it lower expecting a bidding war, and ultimately selling for a higher price than the asking price. You just don't know. When we do find the home that you want to purchase, we will do a bunch of background checks and formulate a strategy for presenting your offer. Market conditions affect this as well.
Q. WHY SHOULD WE WORK WITH JUST ONE AGENT?
A. First of all - no competent agent is going to work hard for you or take you seriously unless you are working with just them and they know that sooner or later they will get paid for their efforts. Second - agents all have access to the same properties. Working with more than one, just means that many agents will be showing you the same properties you may have already seen. You can take the hit and miss approach or get serious. If you really want to buy the best property with the minimal amount of inconvenience to you then hire a professional Realtor. We are like your tour guide for buying a home.
Q. WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN PRE-QUALIFICATION AND PREAPPROVAL?
A. A mortgage loan pre-qualification is simply an estimate of how much house you can afford and how much money a lender would be willing to loan you. The best time to get a pre-qualification is right at the beginning of your home buying process, before you start looking at houses. This involves either sitting down with a lender or talking on the phone, and providing information on you income, assets, debts, and a potential down payment amount. The lender would then provide you with a ballpark figure in writing of how much he thinks you could afford to pay for a monthly mortgage. There is no cost involved and there is no commitment on either side. This estimate is just helpful in helping you figure out if buying a home is a viable option, and if so, what your price range would probably be.
Now a pre-approval means that you have a tentative commitment from a specific lender for mortgage funding. In this case, you provide a home loan lender with actual documentation of your income, assets, and debts. This process typically requires an application fee as well, since the bank will run a credit check and work to verify all your employment and financial information. Once you are approved, the lender will give you a letter of commitment, stating how much money the bank is willing to loan you for a home purchase. With a pre-approval in hand you can start your shopping. And real estate agents and sellers will take you much more seriously when they see you have your mortgage funding in place.
It is important to understand, however, that even a pre-approval is not guarantee that you will be approved for a mortgage loan. The funding will only be given when the property appraisal, title search, and other verifications check out on the home you have chosen to buy. Neither is the pre-approval binding; you can still obtain a mortgage from a different lender. If you do stick with the same company that pre-approved you, the application process will be much shorter once you find the right house.
Q. WE HAVE SOME CREDIT ISSUES AND SLOW PAYS. CAN WE STILL GET A MORTGAGE?
A. Only your mortgage representative can help you determine that along with how much you can afford. I work only with honest, reputable mortgage representatives and I would be glad to refer one to you. They know that if I refer them a client that they better do as great a job for them as I would for any clients they refer to me or they do not get any more of my business.
Q. CAN YOU HELP US FIND A QUALIFIED HOME INSPECTOR?
A. Yes, we can help by referring you to at least 3 different inspectors and you can make the final choice.
Q. WHAT IF WE FIND SOMETHING WRONG AS A RESULT OF THE HOME INSPECTION?
A. Well, if the seller has already adjusted the price accordingly, then we proceed with closing. I think every house has minor problems and no house is perfect. Of course if the inspector finds a multitude of serious problems then everything becomes negotiable or you have the right to back out of the agreement.