We want to buy a home, what's the first step?


  • Talk to a lender.  Ask your agent for recommendations.  Lenders can help you decide what loan product is right for you (conventional, FHA, USDA, ect), explain interest rates and how they will affect your monthly payment, explain mortgage insurance and if you'll be required to have it, and assist you in determining what your price range is and what your monthly mortgage payment would look like at different price points.  Some loan products do not require a down payment, and some lenders have products available for lower scores.  It's worth it to talk to a few and decide on where you feel comfortable.  Your lender and your agent will work closely together to help you get into a home that suits your needs.


We found a house on Zillow we want to see, when can we go?


  • If you haven't had a buying consult with your agent, you should.  Your agent can help outline what specifically you are looking for, make sure you are staying in your price range, and make sure you are properly pre-approved.  Don't be offended when an agent asked about your pre-qualification or pre-approval.  They need to know you've spoken to a lender and have a reasonable price range so they can better assist you.


  • Also, keep in mind, agents need to give notice and schedule appointments for you to see homes. Please remember to respect their time and the seller's time.  Some sellers need to notice to remove pets, tidy up, ect before you arrive.  Most sellers allow same day appointments to accommodate buyers.


How do we sell and buy at the same time?


  • This situation works differently for everyone.  Some sellers have storage and a place to live in the interim if their house sells before they buy.  Some don't.  Have realistic expectations.  You can submit an offer with a home sale contingency, but some sellers won't accept those contingencies.  Keep open and honest communication with your agent.  Every situation is unique and your agent should be on top of working your situation out for the best.


    Buying

    What should I do with my pets during showings?


    here are many options! I always get permission to explain pets in the showing instructions for other agents to see and convey to their clients.

    • If you can, remove the pets from the home. Go for a drive/walk, to the dog park, or a pet friendly coffee shop.

    •If your pet is car anxious, or it's too cold for a long walk or dog park, cage the pet. If they aren't used to a cage, try a few times before your home hits the market. You don't have to allow long showings. Usually 20-30 minutes is enough, and your pet doesn't have to be caged for very long.

    •You can board or find a doggie daycare, but that doesn't work for everyone's lifestyle and budget.

    •If your pet is a cat and most likely hide, just leave a note (along with showing instructions) that there's a pet around and to not disturb.

    •If you have an reptile or other pet that is usually caged, leave a note for the showing and make sure cage is secure.

    •Your agent and local vet should have some suggestions for removing pet odors. Cages and aquariums should be cleaned more than your usual routine to keep odors away and the look of cleanliness. If you have a pet that sheds a lot, prepare to vacuum and dust more to keep your home show ready.


    What can I do to make my house sell fast and at a high price?


    • Listen to your agent.  It may look like if you price your home higher than the comps, that you'll make more money in the end but in the long run, usually the price has to come down or your listing gets stale and loses interest.


    • De-clutter and invest in staging.  While your sports or knicknack collection may be everything to you, it could be distracting to your buyers.  You want to showcase your home and it's wonderful features, not your stuff.  Stagers can help you do just that, by suggesting what should go into storage, what furniture should move around and what decor should stay or go.  It's a small investment for a quicker sale.


    • Paint.  New fresh paint can really bring an inexpensive face lift to your home.  After a while, paint gets tired and dirty.  Red does not photograph well, so usually I suggest sellers paint over red walls with a more neutral color.  Darker colors can work, if the room has a lot of natural light. But typically, neutral colors can go a long way.  Greige is popular right now. 


    How do I know someone isn't going to steal my stuff?

          You don't but there are some precautions you can take, and take comfort in the fact that each showing is tracked by your listing agent.


    • Anything of monetary or personal value, lock away.  Whether you have a safe at home, or get a safety deposit box at your bank - lock anything that you don't want missing.


    • Keep medications, cash and regularly worn jewelry out of sight.  Most people won't go snooping, but it's less tempting to take something if they don't know where it is.


    • Your listing agent should have a tracking system for each showing, so if something does come up missing, they can call the agent who last showed your home.  This is very rare, but it does provide you some security.  Agents qualify their clients too.

    **DISCLAIMER**

    ​These are general answers to general questions.  They may not pertain to your situation and are not meant to override your current broker's advice. This is not legal advice, please advise your attorney for legal advice. 

    Selling

    Frequently Asked Questions