Frequently Asked Questions
You’ve Got Questions. I’ve Got Answers
How will you find potential buyers/renters for my property?
I utilize multiple different aspects to land prospects. First and foremost I always list on the local multiple listing service (MLS), where other agents in the area (and nationally) will be able to search and find the home for sale. In addition, I love to take advantage of hosting extraordinarily welcoming open houses within the first few weekends of listing the property, these first few weeks of listing are CRUCIAL! Also, I create multiple types of marketing material to utilize during open house and listing on social media (flyers, pamphlets, neighborhood signs, and landing links that I can reverse prospect to contact potential buyers that have shown interest).
I have taken many extensive ABOR certified classes on producing RPR reports conducive to appealing the eye of prospective buyers including a full depth summary on everything you need to know regarding the property. Social media marketing is a no-brainer key component in marketing your subject property, and with thousands of followings on my social media accounts I pair that with tagging industry associates I have partnered with (other real estate agents, lenders, title companies, photographers, etc.) to get the most amount of eyes on your house as possible... this is just to list a few types of strategies I like to personally utilize and would love to sit and chat with you more about other tricks I have up my sleeve and how I can get your house sold FAST!
What percentage of the final home sale price do you charge?
In Texas, it's customary that the seller pays all the agent commission fees. The listing broker will usually get 6% of the final sales price of the home. The buyer's agent is typically entitled to half of that.
I often hear client's request from their realtors to negotiate commissions... Consider how would you like to out-negotiate the agent you want to hire, to negotiate the sell of one of your most valuable assets? If you're able to get an agent to lower their compensation, what do you think they're going to do when faced with negotiating on your behalf? Chances are, they will recommend taking a cheaper price because that's just easier. The bigger picture here is 6% will save you thousands more in the long run having a licensed professional representing you along the way.
What the first step of the home buying process?
First, you need to know how much you can borrow. Knowing how much home you can afford narrows down online home searching to suitable properties, thus no time is wasted considering homes that are not within your budget. (Pre-approvals also help prevent disappointment caused by falling in love with unaffordable homes.)
Second, the loan estimate from your lender will show how much money is required for the down payment and closing costs. You may need more time to save up money, liquidate other assets or seek mortgage gift funds from family. In any case, you will have a clear picture of what is financially required.
Finally, being pre-approved for a mortgage demonstrates that you are a serious buyer to the person selling their home.
How long does it take to buy a home?
From start (searching online) to finish (closing escrow), buying a home takes about 10 to 12 weeks. Once a home is selected and the offer is accepted, the average time to complete the escrow period on a home is 30 to 45 days (under normal market conditions). Though, well-prepared home buyers who pay cash have been known to purchase properties faster than that (I have seen even as little as 10 days!).
Market conditions are a major factor in how fast homes are sold. In hot markets with a lot of sales activity, buying a home may take a little longer than normal. That’s because several parties involved in the transaction get behind when business suddenly picks up. For example, a spike in home sales increases the demand for property appraisals and home inspections, yet there will be no increase in the number of appraisers and inspectors available to do the work. Lender turn-around times for loan underwriting can also slow down. If each party involved in a deal takes a day or two longer to get their work done, the entire process gets extended.
Should I sell my current home before buying a new one?
If the built-up equity in your current home will be applied to the down payment on the new home, naturally the former will need to be sold first.
Some home buyers decide to turn their current home into an investment property, renting it out. In that case, the current home will not need to be sold. However, your loan advisor will still need to evaluate your risk profile and credit history to determine whether making a loan on a new home is feasible while retaining title to the old home.
Buyers often have a short time frame to sell their current home when relocating to a new city because of a job transfer. If you are moving but taking a position with the same employer, check to see if they offer relocation assistance to help offset some of the costs.
What is earnest money?
When you make an offer on a home, your agent will ask for a check to accompany it (checks are the same as cash, and the deposit is typically 1% to 2% of the purchase price). Earnest money is made in good faith to demonstrate - to the seller - that the buyer’s offer is genuine. Earnest money essentially takes the home off the market to anyone else and reserves it for you.
The check (or sometimes cash) is deposited in a trust or escrow account for safekeeping. If a deal is struck, the earnest money is applied to the down payment and closing costs. If the deal falls through, the money is returned to the buyer.
Important: if the terms of a deal are agreed upon by both parties, but then the buyer backs out, the earnest money may not be returned to the buyer. Ask your agent about the ways to protect your earnest money deposit and the ways to protect it – such as offer contingencies.
What if my offer is rejected?
Sellers can flat-out accept or reject an initial offer. But there a third path that is quite common, sellers can initiate a counteroffer. Remember this: a deal isn’t dead until it’s dead. So, if a counteroffer is proffered by the seller, you’re still in the game. You and your agent just need to review it determine whether the counteroffer is acceptable. If so, then approving it closes the deal immediately. Keep in mind, offers and counteroffers can go back-and-forth many times; this is not unusual and negotiations are a part of what Realtors do as a matter of routine. Each revision should bring both parties closer together on the terms of the deal.
Do I need to do a final walk-through?
It’s not required, but it’s a darn good idea! Final walk-throughs give buyers a chance to make sure nothing had changed since their first visit. If repairs were requested, as part of the offer, a follow-up visit ensures that everything is squared-away, as expected, per the terms of the contract.