Real Estate FAQs

Real Estate FAQs

What are your questions about real estate and how the whole process works?  Below are some of the most frequently asked questions on this topic; maybe even a few of yours are on this list.  

What does a realtor do, and why do I need one?

A realtor is a certified professional expert who guides/represents his or her clients through the entire process of buying or selling a home.  They provide guidance on the mortgage process, assess what your home needs are, and guide you to preview homes that most closely meet your needs/wants within your price range, and assist throughout the purchase/selling process right down to handing you the keys.

What is the most important step needed before I start looking for a home?

Taking the time to obtain a pre-approval is the best first step!  Knowing how much you can spend on a home is a plus for you and your realtor to ensure that the homes you see are homes you can afford to buy. 

Falling in love with a home out of your price range is a heartbreaking experience that no one wants.

What is earnest money?

Earnest money is a deposit that indicates the potential buyer is serious about purchasing a home and is held in escrow when the offer to purchase is made.  It also protects the seller in the event a buyer backs away from the sale.  Earnest money is credited during the closing process.

What is due diligence?

Due diligence is a real estate fee that is negotiable, but non-refundable for a potential buyer.  Unlike earnest money, the due diligence fee is paid directly to the seller.  Both earnest money and diligence money are credited at closing.  During the due diligence period, the buyer is given an allotted amount of time to have the home inspected, appraised, get loan approval, and have property surveys completed.  

How long will I have to wait until I know if the seller accepts my offer?

Granted, once you find a home and are eager to buy it, this time period can be stressful.  Although the seller response may vary, typically, prospective purchasers hear back with 24 to 48 hours.  If there’s no feedback within that time frame, your realtor will follow-up on your behalf.

What’s a counteroffer, and how does that work?

If the seller counters an offer, their real estate agent will let your agent know the alternate price.  Your agent then notifies you; it’s your option to accept the alternate price, walk away, continue your search, or counter again.  In some cases, appliances, window coverings, or assumption of all or a portion of closing fees may be part of the counteroffer.  

Do I really need a home inspector?

There’s only one answer — Yes!  Many lenders require a home inspection as part of the mortgage/closing process.  Your real estate agent can provide a list of professional home inspectors who will inspect your home, checking structural components, electric systems, heating/cooling, water systems, flooring, etc.  If there are repairs needed, these can be included as part of the contract offer.

Be informed of the important steps in buying or selling your home.  Ask your real estate agent (hopefully, that’s me!) if you have questions.  

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Chrystal Yates
Chrystal Yates