If you’re looking to BUY a home:
I’m looking to buy a house, where do I start?
The first and most important thing to do when looking to purchase a home is to speak to a lender. This lender can be the company you bank with. The lender will ask you a series of questions relating to your finances and run your credit. They’ll request information such as pay stubs, tax returns, and funds saved.
How much money do I need to purchase a home?
This can vary. First time home buyers and buyers with solid credit can typically qualify for a down payment assistance program. These programs can sometimes pay for a large portion if not the whole portion of your down payment. Make sure to ask your lender if you qualify for any special down payment assistance or grants.
What are closing costs?
Closing costs are the fees that are paid to the many different persons, vendors, & services provided in a real estate transaction. Buyer’s typically pay for title policies, escrow fees, origination fees, appraisal reports, credit reports, underwriting fees, recording fees etc. The fees seem endless, but there’s light at the end of the tunnel. Ask your agent if you’ll be able to negotiate for the Seller to contribute to your closing costs as a condition of the sell.
How much do I have to pay an agent?
As a buyer, you’re typically not going to pay for your agents commission in Southern California. In most cases, the Seller of the house is paying the commission to both agents.
What should my agent do for me?
Your agent is here to guide you. A real estate agent is going to have your best interests at heart (fiduciary duty). It’s important to find an agent that’s going to answer your questions and concerns. A well-versed agent should be able to explain and simplify the why’s and how’s to your transaction.
If you’re looking to SELL your house:
What is a CMA?
A CMA is a competitive market analysis. It’s a report and analysis that your agent will perform to give you an estimate as to what you’re home is worth in relation to the other homes that have sold within your neighborhood. It’s important that you and your agent are comparing apples to apples.
What is a Supra Lockbox?
A supra is a special lockbox that real estate agents use for the protection of all properties. These lockboxes are difficult to break into and/or guess a combination code as only agents and other respective professionals such as appraisers have access to these lockboxes. These lockboxes notify your agent when someone is showing your home and logs a time stamp.
What is the MLS?
The MLS is the Multiple Listing Service. It’s important that your agent be a member to more than just the local MLS. Many buyers come from out of the area and it’s important to market to these buyers. Having an agent that is a member of multiple MLS’s will increase your chances of a successful sale.
How much money is going into my pocket after the sale?
Every Seller wants to know how much money is going to go into their pocket at the close of escrow. Please ask your agent to provide you with an estimated net sheet. This document will give you an itemized breakdown of all costs and charges related to your transaction. This information will then allow both you and your agent to come up with a game plan to achieve that goal.
How much do agents charge?
Commissions vary. Ask your agent how much they intend to charge you for their services. Your agent should be able to tell you what neighborhood sales paid in commissions and can negotiate terms based on their services in relation to their competitors.