Real Estate FAQ

A. Hibbler
Keller Williams

Here are some common questions I often answer when working with clients. There are two parts, one for buyers and the other for sellers.

Questions For Homebuyers

How much of a down payment do I need to buy a house?

You no longer need to scrimp and save 20% down. Those days are long gone. If you’re a military veteran, most VA loans have zero-down programs. There are many lending programs today where you can put down as little as 3% of the agreed purchase price.

What Is An EMD?

An Earnest Money Deposit is the amount of money your willing to place upfront once the Purchase Agreement has been signed by all parties. The minimum amount is typically 10%. There’s no limit as to how much you’d like to put down. This money is held in escrow and credited to you against the purchase price at closing.

What do I need to make an offer on a property?

The biggest thing you need is either proof of funds or a pre-approval letter from a qualified lender.

What if I have to sell my house in order to purchase a new one?

Lots of homeowners are in that same position so it’s actually quite common. In this case, you would place an offer to purchase a property contingent on the sale of your existing residence. There is some risk that another buyer could come along and offer to purchase the house without any contingencies. Talk to your Realtor for more information.

The Seller has accepted our offer, now what?

Meanwhile, the buyer’s agent arranges and makes sure all communication is flowing between title agencies, answers questions between all parties, addresses any additional concerns and works to keep the ball rolling toward closing.

For Home Sellers

Why should I list my house with a Realtor?

Realtors have the resources and expertise to market your home far better than for-sale-by-owners. As such, your house is far more likely to sell faster and for more money. They utilize many different technologies and work with hundreds of third-party vendors online and off to advertise your property. They also have access to homebuyers, know where and how to reach them and what they are each looking for. Using Realtor’s who understand the market grants homeowners the peace of mind that all legal requirements are met. Most of all, their experience is invaluable to sellers as they move through the process, just having someone to quickly answer all of your questions along the way and address all of your concerns.

Why should I pay Realtors a commission?

Only 10% of what Realtors handle is actually seen or known by the public at large. So it’s easy to assume they do little more than just show houses. Real estate agency is a sales job based solely on commissions. It’s like hiring a lawyer pro bono. We take care of all the upfront expenses associated with marketing your house for sale, finding buyers, negotiation, tons of paperwork, cooperating with lenders and title agencies, communication and more.

How much are Realtor commissions?

It varies by state, check with your local brokerage. Commissions can range from 2% to 8% depending on the state you live in.

I’m thinking about listing my house for sale, what should I do first?

Although not required, it is recommended that you hire a home inspection who will point out any unseen issues that need to be addressed. Addressing these issues beforehand will pave the way for a smooth sale process down the road. Contact a Realtor for a full market analysis report and assistance in determining your listing price. Most states require that sellers fill out a sellers disclosure form giving buyers an accurate historical record of any repairs, improvements, age of utilities and roof, easements and much more.

What if I find a buyer before I find my new residence?

Not to worry. Talk to your Realtor about your concerns and they can make sure you have extra time if needed. How much time you’ll need can be negotiated with buyers as part of the purchase agreement.