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Our agents here at Forward Realty will help you purchase and or sell your properties. We advise our clients about market conditions, conduct walkthroughs, and provide guidance and assistance through the process of buying and selling your property. Forward Realty promises to provide premium service. Let us help you move For-Ward!
I absolutely love working with Alexandria and her team!!!! I say love because "loved" sounds past tense and final....I will continue to refer and do business with her. She is patient and knowledgeable.
Alexandria is a true example of professionalism. Call her a gem of communication, execution and knowledge. She made my entire process from start to finish, seamless. She is my Realtor for life.
I've found Alexandria Ward to be very active as my Real Estate Agent. She utilized time effective processes and current technology to allow me to complete my real estate transactions in an efficient and timely manner. I highly recommend Ms. Ward to be your Realtor.
I was blessed to have Alexandria as my Realtor for my first home. Her confidence and knowledge helped ease any nervous emotions I felt about becoming a first time homebuyer. She made the entire process go as smooth as anyone purchasing a home can ask for. I plan on purchasing more properties with Forward Realty.
It was such pleasure working with Alexandria. She had all the answers to my questions and what she didn't know off hand she would find out. I would highly recommend Alexandria and her team for all of your real estate needs.
1.) What is the first step in the Home buying process?
Getting pre- approved for a mortgage is the first step of the home buying process. If you don't have a loan officer your Realtor can be provide you with referral options.
2.) Why is it so important to get pre- approved first?
First , you need to know how much you can borrow. Knowing how much you can afford narrows down online home searching suitable properties.
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 money or seek gift funds from family.
Finally, being pre- approved for a mortgage demonstrates that you are a serious buyer to both your real estate agent and the person selling your home.
Most real estate agents will require a pre- approval before showing homes- this is especially true at the higher end of the real estate market; sellers of luxury homes will only allow pre- screened ( and verified) buyers to view their homes. This is meant to keep out "Looky Lous" and protect the seller's privacy. What's more, by limiting who enters their home, sellers are given extra security from potential thieves trying to case the home ( like identifying security systems, locating expensive artwork or other high-value personal property.)
3.) What is a seller's market?
4.) What is a buyer's market?
A buyer's market is characterized by declining home prices and reduced demand. Several factors may affect long - term and short- term buyer demand, like : Economic disruption - a big employer shuts down operations, laying off their workforce.
5.) What is a stratified market?
A stratified market happens where supply and demand characteristics differ by price point, in the same area (typically by city). For example, home sales for properties above $1.5M may be brisk (seller's market) while homes under $750k may be sluggish (buyer's market). This scenario comes along every so often in West Coast cities where international investors looking to park their money in the United States - buy expensive real estate. At the same time, home sales activity in mid-priced homes could be entirely different.
6.) How much do I have to pay an agent to help me buy a house?
Home shoppers pay little to no fees to an agent to buy a home.
For most home sales, there are two real estate agent involved in the deal: one that represents the seller and another who represents the buyer.
Listing brokers represent sellers and charger a fee to represent them and market the property. Marketing may include advertising expenses such as radio spots, print ads, television and internet ads. The property will also be placed in 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.
Agents who represent buyers (a.k.a. buyer's agent) are most time compensated by the listing broker for bringing home buyers to the table. When the home is sold, the listing broker splits the listing fee with the buyer's agent.
7.) What kind of credit score do I need to buy a home?
Most loan programs require a FICO score of 620 or better. Borrowers with higher credit scores represent less risk to the leader, often resulting in a lower the down payment requirement and better interest area. Conversely, home shoppers with the lower credit score may need to bring more money to the table (or accept a higher interest rate) to offset the lender's risk.
8.) How much do I need to down payment?
The national average for down payments is 11% . But that figure includes the first time and repeat buyers. Let's take a closer look.
While the broad down payment average is 11% first time homebuyers usually only put down 3 to 5% on a home. That's because several first- time home buyers programs don't require big down payments. A longtime favorite, the FHA loan, requires 3.5% down. What's more, some programs allow down payment contributions from family members in the form of a gift.
Some programs require even less. VA loans and USDA loans can be made with zero down. However, these programs are more restrictive. VA loans are only made to former or current military service members. USDA loans are only available to low to middle income buyers in USDA eligible rural areas.
For many years, conventional loans required a 20% down payment. These types of loans were typically taken out by repeat buyers who could use equity from their existing home as a source of down payment funds. However, some newer conventional loan programs are available with 3% down if the borrower carriers private mortgage insurance(PMI).
9.) 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 frames 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.
10.)How many homes should I view before buying one?
That's up to you! For sure, home shopping today's easier today than ever before. The ability to search for homes online and see pictures, even before setting a foot outside the comfort of your living room, has completely changed the home buying game. Convenience is at an all-time high. But, nothing beats visiting a home to see how it looks and "feels" in person.
11.) What is earnest money?
When you make an offer on a home, your agent will ask for a check accompany it (checks are the same as cash, and the deposit is typically 1% to 2% of the purchase price). 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.
12.) How long can the seller take to respond to my offer?
Written offers should stipulate the timeframe in which the seller should respond. Giving them twenty-four hours should be sufficient.
13.) 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 its dead. So, if a counteroffer is offered 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 so 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.
14.) Should I order a home Inspection?
Yes! Home inspections are required if you plan on financing your home with an FHA or VA loan. For other mortgage programs, inspections are not required. However, home inspections are highly recommended because they can reveal defects in the home that are not easily detected. Home inspections bring the peace of mind to one of the biggest investments of a lifetime.
15.) Do I need to do a final walk- through?
It's not required, but it's a darn good idea! Final walk -throughs gives 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, expected, per the terms of contract.