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Buying real estate is exciting and intimidating, all at the same time. There are many steps to the home buying process, and each step creates a new set of questions. Knowing the answers to the most common home buying questions can alleviate some of the stress about purchasing real estate.

I want to help you understand the basics of purchasing real estate. Buying any property, whether it is a home or land, may seem intimidating, but a good Realtor® will make it much more manageable. They will care for you by being available for all your questions and make your experience as smooth as possible.

As you learn about purchasing real estate, here are some of the most common questions from buyers.

What’s the 1st step you need to take?

The mortgage pre-approval. You will need to get a mortgage unless you are paying cash for your real estate purchase. Whether you are purchasing a home, land, or an investment property, you will have to know how much you can afford. Getting pre-approved (not just qualified) for a loan is the first step in the real estate buying process.

How do I get qualified?

You will need to provide the Lender your financial information so they can review your credit score and debt to income ratio. They use this information to determine what you qualify for. There are a lot of option around financing, click here to learn more about those options.

How do I search for a property?

Once you know what you qualify for you have the most important criteria, the price range. You also need to be able to tell your Realtor® where you would like to live. Sometimes buyers know exactly where they want to move to, other times it is a broader search, either way your Realtor® can assist you with identifying particular towns or neighborhoods that would provide what you are looking for. Other important criteria to share with your agent are the must haves, such as: only a one story, 5 bedrooms, 5 acres, a certain school district. All of these things help your agent create a custom search for your need. It does neither you or your agent any good to waste time and energy looking at properties that simply don’t meet your situation. Contact me and I will be happy to set up a custom search for your needs.

Once you find a property, how long does it take to close the deal?

After you find the home, land, or investment property and have an accepted offer, it usually takes around 30 days to close.

What will a Realtor actually do to help you?

A Realtor® is a highly-valued asset when buying real estate. They will walk you through every part of the buying process. They will educate and inform you of all your options, such as what to offer the seller and how to negotiate through any counter-offers. They will represent you throughout the transaction, filling out contracts, sending documents to you and the seller for signatures, communicate with the title company and your lender and most importantly will be looking out for your best interest.

Is a Realtor different from a real estate agent?

There is a difference between a Realtor® and a real estate agent; many people do not know this or understand what exactly that even means. A Realtor® designation is given by the National Association of Realtors® and requires a strict Code of Ethics. A real estate agent, though licensed by their state, does not have to abide by the ethics standards set forth by NAR. Therefore, it is recommended that you work with a licensed Realtor® to get the best service.

What will it cost to use a Realtor®?

In most cases, you do not have to pay your Realtor® anything to help you purchase a home, land, or investment property. Instead, the sellers typically pay their Realtor® a fee, and then that listing agent pays the buyer’s agent for bringing the buyer and facilitating the transaction.