There are many benefits to using a buyer’s agent when looking for a home. Having a buyer’s agent is FREE to the buyer! They are a great resource for information and can get you access to the MLS. Buyer’s agents have more negotiating power and your agent will look out for your best interest at all times. Not to mention, the reduced stress during the home buying process. All the paperwork and negotiating is taken care of for you.
It’s very important to speak to a lender before starting your home search for a few reasons. First, you will know what your price range is. This will spare you from looking at homes outside of your price range. Second, many lenders have special programs for first-time home buyers. And last, your lender will review all costs that are required in buying a home and any financial steps you need to take in order to have your loan approved. Being a pre-approved buyer gives your offer credibility when competing for a home with others offers as well.
An earnest money deposit is also frequently referred to as a good faith deposit. When a buyer purchases a home, they provide the seller’s real estate company a deposit to hold in their escrow account. The primary purpose of this deposit is to show a seller you are serious about purchasing their home. The amount that is deposited is subtracted from the final figure that a buyer pays at the closing table. In most cases, the larger the deposit, the stronger a purchase offer looks to a seller.
There is no set amount of houses that someone should look at before submitting an offer on one. It all depends on your comfort level as a buyer. Some know at the first house they look at and others need to look at many homes before deciding. Your agent will be able to help in making sure you are comfortable and aware of every detail when it is time to submit an offer on a home.
A comparative market analysis and an appraisal are the standard methods for determining a home’s value.
Your real estate agent will be able to provide a comparative market analysis, an informal estimate of value based on comparable sales in the neighborhood. Be sure you get listing prices of current homes on the market as well as those that have sold. You also can research this yourself by checking on recent sales in public records. Be sure that you are researching properties that are similar in size, construction, and location. This information is not only available at your local recorder’s or assessor’s office but also through private companies and on the Internet.
An appraisal, which generally costs $200 to $300 to perform, is a certified appraiser's opinion of the value of a home at any given time. Appraisers review numerous factors including recent comparable sales, location, square footage and construction quality.