Whether you are buying a house for the first time or the fourth, it’s important that you make sure that all your documents are in order, so that everything goes smoothly. One thing you should know is that if you have any questions, voice them immediately. The process of buying a house is financially and emotionally draining. If you have a buyer’s agent, then some of this burden might be reduced. However, you still need to be vigilant to know the on goings of the process.
We understand that you will have a lot of questions and some might even sound dumb to you but… better late than never. Following are a few typical home buyer questions that you should ask at every first meeting:
1. Should I Get In Touch With a Mortgage Lender to Find Out about the Loan Terms Before Shopping For a House?
Absolutely YES! How else will you know how much you can afford? Say you fall in love with a house that is worth $250,000. However, when you talk with the loan officer, you find that the maximum amount of loan you can qualify for is $200,000. You see the problem here? Moreover, there are a dozen other costs involved in this process. From the down payment to the notarization of papers, the filing of taxes and others, you need to know the accumulative amount, so that you can plan the mortgage payments accordingly. Ask your buyer’s agent about all the costs associated with this process and then start shopping for loans. In the present Seller’s market, it is imperative that you have been prequalified and you have your pre- qualification letter from your mortgage lender available to your Realtor to present with your offer.
2. Why Is the Homeowner Selling?
Asking outright about the repairs in the house will not get you a clear answer from the seller. Let your Realtor start asking those probing questions on your behalf. He or she will be subtle about this and rephrase the questions in such a way that it does not put the seller on the spot. You want to avoid getting an emotional or financially distressed response and your Realtor has no doubt navigated these roads before.
3. How’s the Neighborhood?
This is an important question to ask because it will tell you about the nearby amenities, crime statistics, taxes, and the local economy’s growth. Whether you will be living in the house for the next 2 or 10 years, you need to choose the neighborhood carefully. Do find out about the school district also, if you are moving with family or planning to start one in the near future.
4. How Long Will It Take to Buy the House?
Typically, it takes 30 to 45 days to close on a house, faster if the house is in tip top shape, is not a short sale and does not have a foreclosure hanging above. As soon as you have the pre-approval letter and the home inspection report, you can push the deal papers through the pipeline.
5. Has the House Been on the Market for Long?
If the house has been on the market for quite some time, say more than 3 months, then there’s a possibility that it is overpriced, so tell your agent to start looking at comps. Perhaps the home inspection report didn’t come out clean. This gives you an opportunity to negotiate on the asking price. The seller might be willing to throw in a few incentives.
Of course, there are dozens of other questions too, but these five will give you a clear idea on how you should proceed next. In conclusion, we would like to say that before deciding to buy a house: First take a look at your financial situation and immediate future plans. Unless you have a trusted mortgage lender, turn to your Realtor for suggestions. Once you have these two items covered – then off to the races!