Looking to buy or sell a home? It’s common to feel hesitant and unsure about the process. In order to get the best help possible, turn to a trusted real estate company that has your best interest in mind.
Century 21 Alliance Group has been a well-known, reliable, and go-to real estate option in the Region for years. The trusted staff over at Century 21 put together a list of the top 10 questions an agent is commonly asked by their clients. With the help of this list, potential homeowners and sellers can conveniently get answers to some of their questions before contacting a lender.
1. What is the most accurate way to find out what my home is worth?
To get an accurate and up-to-date price estimate on your home, you can either hire an appraiser or call a realtor to receive a market analysis. Both an appraiser and a realtor will use recently sold properties that are comparable to yours to determine the probable sales price of your home. Both realtors and appraisals will pull sales prices from the Multiple Listing Service, so typically they will reference a lot of the same properties.
The market analysis will also include the comparable properties that are currently for sale. The difference from a realtor or an appraiser is that the appraiser will usually charge a fee, yet the report is much more detailed. Century 21 does not charge for a market analysis and, depending on how detailed you want to get, we can sometimes create a report in less than 20 minutes.
2. Why do some websites like Zillow show a different sales price than the homes in my neighborhood are selling for?
Price estimate sites like Zillow don’t have the actual price that homes sell for. Rather, they estimate the price based on tax records and other factors. That’s why they’ve coined the term “zestimates.” The only way to get accurate information on the selling prices of homes near you is to call a realtor or access the data by visiting your county’s website.
3. How long does it take to buy a home?
It typically takes 10 to 12 weeks to purchase a home, from the time you start viewing properties to the time of closing. Within that time frame, 30-45 days are dedicated to securing the finances for closing.
4. I want to purchase another home and don’t have to sell mine in order to buy. Should I start looking for a home right away?
If you qualify to buy a home without selling your existing one, good for you! Some people are in the position to buy a home without selling their primary residence and want to be moved into their new home before listing their existing property. If that is the case, it is best to at least have a realtor over to your existing home to assess the value. That way, you will know how much money you can expect from the proceeds of your sale and have a good idea of what you can spend on your new property.
5. What is the first step I need to take if I want to purchase a home?
In order to purchase a home, the first thing you need to do is get pre-approved by a lender. Not only will this tell you how much you can afford, but it will also approve you for a specific loan amount and signal to sellers that you are a viable buyer when you make an offer. Keep in mind that a pre-qualification is not as valuable.
6. We are in the process of buying a home. What we can expect as far as costs for a real estate agent and closing?
Typically, the commission that the buyer’s agent receives is covered by the seller. Buyers normally will not have to pay anything to the agent that is representing them to purchase a home. As far as closing costs, normally they should be around $2500. However, your lender and real estate agent will have insight and options regarding how to reduce those costs or negotiate with the seller to help pay for them.
7. We have heard that it’s a seller’s market and that inventory is low. We are thinking of listing our home on the market for a higher price to see if we can get more money right now versus waiting. Thoughts?
Yes, inventory is currently low, but this greatly depends on what price range you are in. Right now, there are fewer homes in the $250,000 price range, but inventory increases as you increase in price. Still, it is hard to speak generally since it depends on where your home is located if it is updated and countless other factors. The market is constantly changing, and it is all about supply and demand. Before putting a price on your home, you should get a market analysis by a realtor or pay for an appraisal. Even if you put a higher price on the home and it sells, unless it is a cash offer, the home must appraise out for the buyer to get their loan.
8. Should I hire an inspector to inspect my new home?
Yes, we strongly encourage buyers to hire a qualified, licensed inspector to inspect the property to ensure there aren’t any major defects. Inspectors are trained to find defects that buyers and realtors cannot see and assure you that you are getting a sound home.
9. How accurate is my assessed value on my tax statement?
Throughout our many years in the business, we have seen values all over the board. Since the real estate market is dynamic, values are often overstated or understated and rarely correct. Again, we suggest you hire a realtor to give you an idea of what your home would sell for and how long it would probably take. Typically, there is no charge and obligation to do so, and it’ll give you the peace of mind of knowing.
10. What should I look for in a real estate agent?
Buying and selling a home is a major process. You should work with a realtor that you trust and has your best interest in mind. Yes, it is important to ask agents about their credentials. How long have they been in the business? How many homes have they sold? How much time do they spend each day assisting buyers and sellers? But above all, you need to trust the agent that you choose. If you are selling a home, be careful of an agent that gives you an overpriced estimate of your home’s value just to get the listing. Whether buying or selling a home, your realtor should provide you with a list of sales within your market so that you can compare your home or the home you are about to buy. By doing this, you will have a good idea of your selling price or what you should offer on a property.