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Wooden Stairs

FAQs for Homebuyers and Sellers

You Asked, We Answered

It’s important to us that our customers feel fully informed and confident when working with us. That’s why we’ve made an extensive list of past customers’ questions along with answers from our experienced team. Browse through the information below, and if you have a question that isn’t included here, feel free to reach out to us today.

How do I know if I'm ready to buy a house?

Determining if you're ready to buy a house is a personal decision that involves your finances, lifestyle, and future plans. Start by assessing your financial readiness, including credit score, savings for a down payment, and steady employment. Next, consider the stability of your lifestyle and long-term commitment to living in one place. Consulting with a lender or a real estate agent can also provide valuable insight into your readiness to buy.

What are the steps in the home-buying process?

The home-buying process typically involves the following steps:

1) Getting pre-approved for a mortgage;

2) Working with a real estate agent to find a home that meets your needs;

3) Making an offer;

4) Negotiating the terms with the seller;

5) Getting a home inspection and an appraisal;

6) Finalizing your mortgage; 

7) Closing on the home, which involves signing all the necessary documents and paying any closing costs.

How long does it take to buy a home?

On average, it takes around 30-45 days to buy a home once you've placed an accepted offer. However, this timeline can vary due to various factors, such as the complexity of your mortgage application, negotiations, or home inspection results. It's essential to work closely with your real estate agent and stay in touch with all parties involved to expedite the process.

What credit score do I need to buy a home?

While requirements vary depending on the lender and the type of loan, a FICO credit score of 620 or above is typically considered the minimum to qualify for a conventional mortgage. The higher your credit score, the better interest rates and loan options you'll have. Consider working to improve your credit score before applying for a mortgage to potentially secure better terms.

How can I sell my house quickly?

Selling your house quickly often involves pricing it competitively, staging it to highlight its best features, and working with a real estate agent who has a track record of quick sales. Other tips include making necessary repairs, enhancing curb appeal, and being flexible with showings. Consider the local market conditions and the seasonality of house sales in your area as well.

Do I need a real estate agent to sell my home?

While it's not a legal requirement to have a real estate agent when selling your home, it's highly recommended due to the complex nature of the real estate market. Real estate agents can help you price your home effectively, market it to a broad audience, negotiate offers, and navigate the closing process. They also manage legal and financial complexities, saving you time and stress.

How much will it cost to hire a real estate agent?

Real estate agent fees, known as commission, typically range from 5% to 6% of the home's sale price and are paid by the seller. This fee is split between the seller's agent and the buyer's agent. It can be a significant cost, so ensure you understand the fee structure and services included before signing a listing agreement.

Should I renovate my house before selling it?

The decision to renovate before selling depends on your home's current condition, your budget, and the potential return on investment (ROI). Minor renovations like fresh paint, landscaping improvements, and updating fixtures can enhance the appeal of your home to buyers without breaking the bank. Major renovations should be carefully considered based on market conditions and comparable nearby sales. 

What renovations can increase the value of my home?

Renovations that often increase the value of a home include kitchen and bathroom upgrades, adding square footage, or improving the home's energy efficiency. Other value-boosting improvements include a new roof, HVAC system, or insulation. Remember that not all renovations will offer a positive ROI, so focus on those that align with market demands in your area. Every market is different, so consult with a local real estate agent for advice specific to your location. Additionally, ensure that any renovations you do are up to code and permitted to avoid issues in the selling process.

Should I purchase a home warranty when buying a house?

A home warranty can provide peace of mind for new homeowners by covering repairs or replacements of major systems and appliances, usually for one year. Whether you should purchase a home warranty depends on your individual risk tolerance and the condition of the home you're buying. If the seller is offering a warranty as part of the sale, consider accepting it; otherwise, weigh the cost versus potential savings in repairs. It's also helpful to research any exclusions or limitations in coverage before purchasing a home warranty. Always carefully read the terms and conditions of any contract before signing.

What happens if my appraisal is lower than the agreed-upon price?

If your appraisal comes in lower than the agreed-upon purchase price, it can complicate the home-buying process. Lenders will typically only finance a mortgage for the appraised value of the home, meaning you'll have to come up with additional funds to cover the difference if you still wish to purchase at the original price. In some cases, buyers may be able to negotiate a lower price with the seller or ask for an appraisal appeal. Your real estate agent can guide you through your options and help determine the best course of action.

What is a "Buyer's Market" in Real Estate?

In a buyer's market, there are more properties for sale than there are interested buyers. This often leads to lower prices and allows buyers to negotiate sales terms more favorably. It's an ideal environment for someone looking to purchase a new home, as sellers may be more willing to accept lower offers.

What is a "Seller's Market"?

Conversely, a seller's market occurs when the demand for properties exceeds the supply, giving sellers the upper hand. In this case, homes may sell quickly and for amounts at or above the asking price. Buyers may have less room for negotiation due to the high demand.

How Much of a Down Payment Do I Need to Buy a Home?

The amount of down payment needed depends on the type of mortgage you choose and your creditworthiness. Conventional loans typically require a down payment of at least 5-20% of the purchase price. FHA loans can have a minimum down payment as low as 3.5%. It's best to consult with a mortgage lender for personalized advice.

Should I Sell My Current Home Before Buying a New One?

Selling your current home before buying a new one is generally advisable. This allows you to know how much you can afford and prevents potentially carrying two mortgages. However, in certain circumstances, such as hot seller's markets or when temporary housing is an option, some buyers may comfortably purchase a new home before selling their existing one.

What sets Andria apart from other agents?


Licenced 22 years

Mortgage background

Fulltime Realtor since 2016

231 Transactions since 2016 (32 per year)

Masters Degree in Accounting

Andria in a red dress
Average Realtor

Licensed < 6 years

Various backgrounds

> 50% work "part time"

Close 10 transactions per year

45% of agents hold a 4-year college degree as the highest level of education.

Country Style Kitchen

Work with Andria & Robert

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