The home buying process can often time be confusing and overwhelming for many buyers whether it is their first time or fifth time. One of the best ways to alleviate this process is to be well informed and fully prepared for the process. There are generally many questions that will arise throughout the home buying process. One of the most important things that homebuyers must keep in mind is that there is no such thing as a dumb question, if they are unsure of something when buying a home then they should ask. Here are some top frequently questions from home buyers.
Should I consult with a bank before looking at homes?
Yes! Talking with a bank before looking at homes can help you understand exactly how much you can afford and what your overall budget is. Moreover, this will help you know exactly what costs are associated with buying a home such as down payment, prepaid items, and escrows. A mortgage professional can also give you advice on the type of financing you should be looking to obtain and an estimate of how much money you need to have before closing on a home.
What kind of credit score do I need to buy a home?
If you are looking to buy a home anytime soon, the first thing you need to do is check your credit score. Your credit score will be the first thing a mortgage lender will review before qualifying you for a loan. Although there are other factors to be eligible for a loan, your credit score would be considered the most important. The minimum credit score you will need to buy a home also depends on which credit score mortgage lenders are looking at as individual lenders may raise the bar higher based on other factors, such as, your income or how much down payment you are looking to put down. But as a generalization, the average credit score to buy a house is 600 or above.
For more information get in touch with one of our agents for a free consultation; we are more than happy to provide our expert knowledge to get yourself started. Call today at 978-664-1300
What is the best advice you can give to first-time buyers?
Walking the first-time home buying journey can be very stressful, let the professionals do what they do best to help your home buying process go as smooth as possible. We have written a helpful blog on how hiring a real estate agent will benefit you.
Do I really need a Realtor when buying a home?
It is strongly recommended that you find a good realtor when buying a home. They will represent your best interests when inquiring about a house. Attempting to buy a home without a Realtor can really make the home buying process more tedious and challenging since you have no resource to rely on and must everything on your own.
How many homes should I look at before making a purchase offer?
There is no specific number of homes you must look at before deciding on purchasing a home. Do not feel that you are making a mistake if you were to buy the first house you look at. The same applies if it takes you looking over 20 homes before making a purchase offer. It all comes down to whether the home that you are looking at meet your preferences and pre-set criteria.
How safe is the neighborhood?
We understand nobody wants to live in a dangerous city, but there’s only so much a real estate agent can help you with this question, and due to the Fair Housing Act, a real estate agent is restricted to answer questions regarding crime statistics. However, you are obligated to reach out to local police to have a better understanding of the safety in your area.
When is it the best time to sell my home?
To be honest, only you would know when it is the best to sell your home! Keep in mind that every year is different, historically more homes sell in the Spring, but the house also sells in the Summer, Fall, and Winter. Believe it or not, the best time to list your home to achieve most of the money is the Winter due to the lower inventory. If you are looking for more selling tips check out
Is staging really necessarily?
Yes, absolutely! We are firm believers when it comes to staging, in fact, it is statistically proven that a staged home sells 88% faster than a home that is left as it is. The goal is to give a great impression to potential buyers and provide them a visualization on how they could see themselves living at home. Check out our blog for tips on staging below!
Is it possible to sell my home in the winter?
The winter does offer some challenges but it is indeed possible! In fact, according to a study by Redfin, average sellers net more above asking price during December to March than they do from June to November. Homebuyers that are looking during the winter are more inclined to buy than those during the warmer season With less competition around and a higher chance of selling, it could be the perfect time for you to start planning for the winter.
How much should I offer the sellers?
You are the only one can determine how much you should offer a seller when buying a home. You should certainly ask your Realtors for advice and thoughts, but ultimately the decision comes down to you. You are the only one who can determine how much you can afford.
How long does the seller have to respond to my offer?
There is no standard answer to this. A purchase offer will have a “life” that can typically vary from 12 hours to 3 or 4 days depending on various circumstances. A shorter life is recommended if the home that you are looking to buy is newly listed with multiple offers waiting. A more extended life, such as a few days, is recommended and/or necessary if the home that you are looking to buy has been on the market for quite some time and the seller is not locally available.
What if my offer is rejected?
There are four possible responses when a purchase offer is submitted to the seller: accepted offer, counter offer, rejected an offer, and an offer that is not responded to. In the case of a rejected offer where the seller says no and doesn’t counter, you have every right to place another offer. It is uncommon to see an offer that is rejected or not responded to, unless the offer may is so low that it might have offended the seller. In any case, there is no harm in making another offer if your initial offer is rejected.
What is the next step after the offer is accepted?
There are many things that need to be completed between contract acceptance and the closing date. A home inspection is recommended after an offer is accepted. Then a formal mortgage application must be completed immediately after along with other applications such as the title, abstract, survey, and any miscellaneous paperwork. Throughout the mortgage process, you must gather and submit various documentation, letters, and items to satisfy the bank conditions. Once these are completed, you are ready to close on your future home!
Should I get a final walk-through?
It is not required, but there’s no harm in doing so! A final walk-through will give buyers another opportunity to make sure there was nothing that was missed out on their first visit. If there were repairs to be made, a follow-up visit is highly recommended to ensure fixes are amended correctly.
How long does the loan process take?
Most mortgages today calculate interest in arrears, unlike consumer loans which calculate interest to the date of payment receipt. As an example, when borrowers pay their February mortgage payments, they are paying the January interest. This method of calculating benefit is based on a 360 day year in which each month has 30 days.
Should I get a home inspection?
Yes, absolutely, in fact, it is a must! A home inspector will ease your worries by looking into the condition of your roofs, electricity, heating and air, plumbing, and any other issues that may arise. A home inspector can help you understand what home areas need to be fixed and if some are not up to par, will give you an opportunity to negotiate with the seller to get those fixed before you sign the paperwork.
When buying a home, being prepared and well informed can really make a huge difference. It is critical that you stay organized and remain focused throughout the entire process. These frequently asked questions should help provide you with some insights on what to expect throughout the home buying process. If you are looking for a realtor in North Reading, Reading, Lynnfield, Wilmington, and the rest of the North Shore MA. Fill in our online form or call us at 978-664-1300