Q: I'm thinking about buying a home. Where do I start?
A: The first step for potential homebuyers is a credit check. It's best to keep an eye on your credit reports so you can spot any mistakes and dispute them. You should also avoid running up high credit card bills in the months prior to buying a home. These two steps will help you in the next phase of your game plan, pre-approval on a mortgage. Pre-approval includes analyzing your income, assets, and present debt to estimate how much house you can afford. This means the lender has committed to loaning you money subject to the house you choose to buy. Being pre-approved for a loan will make you attractive to sellers because the contract won't be tied up with financial issues.After you know how much you can spend, you're in the homestretch. This is the time for you to become familiar with neighborhoods and the features of a home. Educate yourself by visiting www.realliving.com and viewing the listings. This is also the time for you to decide what you want and need in a home. A solid game plan needs a good coach. Rosalyn can help you through all steps of the plan, prepare you for any unforeseen problems and eventually help you to buy the home of your dreams.
Q: What should I consider when I start to look for a home?
A: First, put together a list of features and benefits you want in a home. Think of such things as pricing, location, size, and amenities. If you can't get a home at the price you want with all the features you're looking for, figure out what features are most important to you and rank them in priority so you know what you're willing to give-and-take. For instance, you could choose to have a large kitchen and smaller bedrooms? You should also consider your future needs. Maybe now is the time to buy a larger home rather than buying a small home and expanding it in the future. Rosalyn can help you compare the price of homes with the features you are looking for or suggest alternate uses of space.
Q: Should I buy first, or sell first?
A: The answer to this question lies squarely with you. Do you need the equity that's built up in your present home to complete the purchase of a new home? If so, you either need to sell first or consider a bridge loan or house sale contingency. If not, you may choose to buy first and sell later.
Q: How do I choose between renting or buying?
A: Owning a home offers tax benefits, as well as the freedom to make decisions about where you live. Homeowners, unlike renters, can secure a fixed-rate loan and lock in their monthly payments, so they can make investment plans knowing their expenses won't change substantially. Renters are at the whim of their landlord, who can raise the rent each year without a renter's input. Homeowners, on the other hand, are in control of their property and decide whether they allow pets, decorating, or permanent improvements.
Q: Why do I need an agent to help me find a home with all of the technology and advertising available?
A: The Internet and newspaper are good places to start researching the current housing market. You can also find information to help answer many of your financing questions. But once you've looked at what's available, it's a good time to get a professional involved. If you go it on your own, you might spend hours scanning newspaper ads and home magazines, driving through neighborhoods seeking "for sale" signs, or phoning about individual listings and still miss some of the best available homes. Working with The Rosalyn Miller Group will save you time, money, and provide access to a wealth of information resources to help find that special home.
Q: If I'm thinking about buying a newly-constructed house, why do I need an agent?
A: Building a home often requires hours of research and decision-making. You must first decide what area you want to build in and which builder you want to use. After these initial decisions, you still have many choices of floor plans, building materials, and fixtures. Personalization and freedom of choice are some of the benefits of building a home, but they can also be very stressful. We will guide you through the entire home building process and help you along the way should you need it. You'll still get to make the choices on your own, but we will be there to help, keeping your best interests in mind. Plus, buyer representation comes at no extra cost to you.
Q: Is HER Realtors a member of the Multiple Listing Service (MLS)?
A. Yes - in every market we serve, HER is a member of the local MLS, as well as being members of the national, state, and local Associations/Boards of Realtors.
Q: What is an Agency Disclosure?
A: An Agency Disclosure is a state-required document, disclosing to you as a principal-in this case, the buyer-in a real estate transaction whom the agent or agents in the transaction represent. A state's Agency Disclosure simply notifies you of that state's agency laws; it does not obligate you to work with any particular agent or broker.
Q: How are buyer's agents compensated?
A: In most cases, a fee or commission is based on the seller's proceeds of sale, charged to the seller and shared between the seller's listing broker, the listing agent, and the buyer's broker (or selling broker) and the buyer's agent. In some cases, the buyer makes a direct payment to his or her agent, but in the Columbus area, it is common for the seller to pay the main commission to the four involved parties. Buyers sometimes pay their agent/broker directly for finding and purchasing a home. If a broker charges buyers a direct fee, it should be outlined in an exclusive agency agreement that the buyer signs when engaging the broker. We do charge a commission of $199. Payment arrangements vary, depending on market conditions, customary practices, and consumer expectation. Some eager home buyers offer an incentive to give their real estate agent additional motivation (generally a cash bonus when title transfers) to find them the "right" property. For short sale purchases, it is sometimes necessary for buyers to make up the difference if the bank who is holding the lien refuses to pay the customary commission. This is determined on a case by case basis and we will discuss how this works if you make an offer on a short sale property.
Q: What do all of those abbreviations in property ads mean?
A: If you find yourself stumbling to understand a property description, you're not alone. We've composed a list of some of the most frequently used abbreviations to help you understand a BA from a BR and more.
BA = Bath
FDR = Formal Dining Room
BR = Bedroom
LR = Living Room
MBR = Master Bedroom
DR = Dining Room
FP/FRPLC/FPLC = Fireplace
WBFP = Wood Burning Fireplace
FR = Family Room
LL = Lower Level
ENTR = Entrance
GRMET KIT = Gourmet Kitchen
DCK = Deck
PVT = Private
GAR = Garage
PWDR RM = Powder Room
BRK = Brick
UPR = Upper Floor
HDW/HWF/HDWD = Hardwood Floors
Q: As a buyer, do I have the right to obtain past information about the property I'm interested in purchasing?
A: Yes. Sellers are required to disclose all known property defects. With your agent's help, you can find out what has happened to the property in the past. You should make careful observations, examine the property, and request or otherwise obtain any other important records. Put these requests in writing. If you decide to put an offer on a home, it's important to have a professional inspection completed before closing.