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Frequently asked questions when purchasing a home

Written by Jan Wilkinson  

In particular if you are a first time home buyer this can be a very daunting process, and even if you have experienced buying a property before it’s not unusual for you to feel the need to seek some guidance in this area.

I am a Realtor here in Cedar City, Southern Utah, and I thought I would share with you some of the questions I have being asked over the years; hopefully this will make the process a little less daunting for you

Is this a good time to buy?

I have come across so many buyers nervous to buy in this economy, but actually due to this economy there are some great opportunities available for buyers.

The property market is about 70% foreclosures and short sales, and due to this the regular buyer has to be very competitive on price in order to sell their home, so yes this is a fantastic time to consider buying a home, ask a Realtor to send you some options and check this out for yourself

Do I need a Realtor?

I would definitely advise any buyer to have the guidance of a Realtor, and I am sure you are thinking of course I would say that, but there are good reasons for my advice, as a Realtor it is my job to look after my Buyers best interests, to make sure they are not paying too much for a property, and to negotiate the best deal for my Client, and to take the time to really understand what each buyer is looking for, and to know the property market well enough to find the perfect place.

It is also a Realtors responsibility to guide the buyer through the process, by liaising with the lender, Home inspector and Title Company and making sure the sale goes through smoothly, and the best news of all is that it does not cost a buyer to be represented, so all you need to do is go out and find a good buyers agent who will work hard for you, and if you do not know one, ask your friends to make a referral, and interview each one and make up your mind from there.

How do I know what I can afford?

Seek advice from a Lender, if you have no idea who to choose ask your realtor for 2 lenders who they would recommend, meet with both of them and choose who you feel most comfortable with.

I have found in this economy when the lending process is a little tougher, it is important to have a lender who can close the deal, who will tell you any issues up front, so that you have time to resolve them, and a lender who will communicate with your realtor, and will aim to make the process as smooth for you as possible, why have stress when you really don’t need too.

 I have found a home that I really like, how do I know I am not paying too much?

Before writing up an offer always check data, have your Realtor provide sold comps going back no more than 6 months, to see what properties that compare to your chosen home have sold for, after reviewing the comps discuss with your Realtor how much you would like to offer as a starting point.

I am clueless when it comes to construction, how do I know if the home is a sound investment?

As a Realtor I understand this is the biggest investment you are likely to make, so go into it wisely, I would always advise a buyer to get a professional inspection completed on the property.

If the property is not sold as is, as a buyer you have the opportunity to go back to the seller and ask if they can repair any of the big items which may be a concern to you, they may not always agree to take care of all of them but at least you know the issues before going ahead with the sale.

I’ve being renting for years, what are the benefits of buying a home?

Some of my most rewarding sales have being to find a home for a buyer who never imagined they would have the opportunity to buy their own home.

I have seen many buyers get into a property paying the same or less than they did when they were renting, the buyers often get to choose locations in the City which they have found preferable to the area which they rented in, and on top of that you are no longer wasting your monthly payment, as the property market turns you are creating equity in your home, and of all the times to consider buying, a buyer’s market is the time

I’ve being calling on signs and driving round town to find a home I like, but it takes so much time, is there an easier way to do this?

Absolutely, choose a Realtor to represent you and save yourself all this hassle, your best use of all this time and energy is to review all the options they send to you, so take a minute in telling the Realtor what your needs are, and ask your agent to set you up on auto search so that you get all the new or reduced properties that meet your criteria as they are listed on MLS, so that you don’t miss out on any great options, and as you can imagine on the top of every buyers list is finding a great deal, so if you see something that really interests you, don’t waste time, call your Realtor right away and see it before it has gone.

Good luck in your property search, I hope after reading this you feel less daunted by this whole process, and remember buying a home truly is an exciting time for you, so go and have fun.

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