Home Buyer FAQ’s:
Q: What are the tax benefits to owning a home?
A: There are several tax benefits to owning a home, including mortgage interest deductions, state and local tax deductions and residential energy credits to mention a few. Talk with your tax adviser to see what you qualify for!
Q: How accurate is property information on third party websites (Zillow, Realtor.com, etc.)?
A: Most of the time information on these websites is reliable. However, because it pulls information from the Multiple Listings Service (MLS) as well as other sources, there is often a delay and occasionally inconsistency in information. Also, many of these sites provide property value estimates which can be inaccurate and should be discussed with your local real estate expert.
Q: Do I need to select an agent to start my home search?
A: It is not necessary to have an agent if you are beginning your home search at open houses in your area. However, an agent will be necessary when you are ready for private house showings. Even if you are just beginning your search, an agent can provide valuable guidance through the loan process, and give you access to off-market listings as well as those that are coming soon. The local expertise they provide is critical to your home buying process!
Q: Do I need to be pre-qualified before looking at homes?
A: We recommend our buyers get pre-qualified before beginning their home search. Knowing exactly how much you can comfortably spend on a home reduces the potential frustration of looking at homes beyond your means. If you’re beginning your home search by looking at open houses, you don’t need to be pre-qualified, however for private showings with an agent it is highly recommended.
Q: What’s the typical down payment on a home?
A: The typical down payment on a home is 20%, although lower amounts can work depending upon your financing approval. Connect with your preferred lender to learn what type of loan(s) are best for you.
Q: Who pays for the buyer’s agent?
A: The buyer’s agent commission is paid by the Seller, so it doesn’t cost you anything to work with a Realtor!
Q: What is a buyer/broker representation agreement?
A: An agreement that establishes a mutual commitment and relationship (duties and responsibilities) between a buyer and their agent in the purchase of real estate.
Q: What’s the benefit of signing a buyer/broker representation agreement?
A: It is important to sign a buyer/broker representation agreement when you’re starting your home search to ensure that your agent is dedicated to you throughout this process. Once the agreement is signed, agents ensure that you get into properties you’d like to see, keep you updated on the local market and informed of off-market listings and coming soon opportunities. Finding someone who gets to know you and your wants and needs is crucial to establishing the trust to put you at ease during this process.
Q: How will my agent tell me about the newest home available?
A: The Multiple Listings Service Website (MLS) provides up-to-date information for every home on the market. Kulda Group’s Buyer’s Agents constantly check the New on Market list to be on the lookout for their clients. Your Buyer’s Agent will get you this information right away, the way that is most convenient for you; by phone and/or email.
Q: How do I find foreclosed properties? And how does that process work?
A: There are different websites that post foreclosed homes such as auction.com. Some foreclosed properties are also posted on the Multiple Listings Service (MLS) which can only be accessed by your agent. Foreclosed homes may require you to have cash or a “hard money” loan to make a purchase.
Q: How do I find off-market listings and coming soons?
A: Working with an agent is the only way to get access to off-market and coming soon listings.
Q: How are surveys and inspections helpful during your home purchase process?
A: Surveys and inspections help you identify potential issues with the home before you purchase it. They also allow you to better estimate how much money would be needed for repairs.
Q: How do I estimate repair costs on a home I buy?
A: While you’re working with your agent, they should be working with their trusted and local vendors to provide estimates during the contingency period. Your agent will work on your behalf to negotiate a price that is fair in relation to the repairs the home requires.
Q: What items do I need to provide before submitting an offer:
A: A pre-approval letter and/or proof of funds and a letter to the seller with a photo (If you’d like to include this).
Q: How do we win in a competitive, multiple offer, situation?
A: Working with an agent is crucial to win in a multiple offer situation. Often the highest price with the least amount of terms will win. Your expert agent will know what terms to remove and hold on to during this negotiation process. Similarly, your agent will know what terms make this a win/win offer for both the buyer that they are representing and the seller of the property.
Q: Can we go back through our property again once an offer is made, but before possession?
A: Usually, your Buyer’s Agent can notify the seller and schedule a convenient time for you to visit the property again. Immediately before the closing, you and your Buyer’s Agent will schedule a final walk-through and inspection of your new home.
Q: How much should you have saved in addition to your down payment for closing costs?
A: A good estimate for how much you should have for closing costs on a home would be $10,000-$20,000. However, it is important to consult with your lender to get a better estimate. Closing costs can vary depending on prorated tax amounts, lender and title fees and more.
Q: How does my agent stay in touch with me after closing?
A: Agents at the Kulda Group stay in contact with our past clients to service any new real estate needs or to help friends and family. We Invite you to local & VIP client events, and are a trusted resource for vendors needed, home valuation updates, or any other real estate related services. We are your real estate expert!
If you have any questions, give us a call at (650) 560-8663!