As a buyer, I can assure you that an abundance of thoughts will dominate your mind. Below are a handful of frequently asked questions that I hope will ease the home-buying process and clear up any uncertainty:
Why pay over asking?
Currently, interest rates are at an all time low. Demand is at an all time high. Property value is also skyrocketing on a monthly basis. Therefore, there is a great amount of competition so paying over asking shows that you’re a serious buyer.
How is the school district?
Believe it or not, schools actually receive a letter rating based on many different factors. It’s easy for someone to just say “yeah that’s not a bad school” or vice versa, but that statement would be provided from a personal opinion or experience. Niche.com permits you to type in the school depending on the specific town and it will provide you with the rating in regards to its academics, teachers, clubs & activities, diversity, college prep, sports, etc.
Do I need an attorney?
Using a specialized expert is extremely beneficial when making a drastic life changing decision. “What would they do for me?” you may ask. To start off, a purchase contract is an official contract between a buyer and seller. It outlines all of the specific details and conditions of a home sale transaction. This includes the offer price that is either agreed, denied or negotiated, deposit amount, any contingencies, property inspections/appraisal, etc. This is the first step when planning to purchase a home, so I’d say that it’s pretty important. An attorney has the authority to review these terms and prevent any kind of legal issues from arising down the line by speaking with the seller’s attorney if something is not right. Your attorney would also be present at the closing table to ensure that all documentations are accurate one last time. Once the remaining signatures are provided, they cannot be undone.
Do we know the highest offer?
When submitting an offer, it’s certain to say that you want it to be accepted so the property can be yours. There is another factor in the equation though. A lot of the time, multiple offers are submitted and unfortunately, they cannot be disclosed. Despite the fact that all buyers want to know where they rank amongst the other offers, it is illegal for an agent to provide an exact number as it poses a conflict of interest. On the bright side, they can give a minor boost by informing you if your client’s offer is close to the others or not to guide you in some sort of direction.
What is the Use of Occupancy?
An agreement between the buyer and seller where the buyer purchases the home and permits the seller to reside there for a duration of time after the closing date. Essentially, the home is rented back to the seller from the new home-owner. For example, if there is a home-sale contingency and the seller has not purchased their new home before the closing date of their current one, the buyer has the option to initiate a Use of Occupancy in the meantime.
How fast is closing? What are the closing costs?
In today’s market, closing occurs within 45 days. This is because banks and title companies tend to take more time than usual due to high volume and demand. Roughly closing costs are between 2.25-2.5% of the purchase price. They include the fees of an attorney, title, inspection, etc
What is appraisal?
An appraisal is an estimated number to determine the overall value of a home. The current condition, location and other defining characteristics are all taken into consideration when deciding if the contract price is appropriate.
What is the difference between septic and public sewer?
A septic system takes care of your waste right on site, stored in a tank underground. It is located on the premise of the property. It requires attention at minimum 1 year or every few years, depending on the size of the tank and how many many people are operating the facilities. On the other hand, public sewer is not located directly onsite and all waste is distributed to a treatment center operated by the city of residence. It is not a home-owners responsibility either. If any problems occur, the local municipality is responsible to fix the issue.
What is the process of buying a home:
- Submit an offer
- Have offer accepted