First Time Home Buyer? Have Questions? – Get Answers Here!

Tracey Hampson
Published on January 2, 2018

First Time Home Buyer? Have Questions? – Get Answers Here!

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I’ve helped many first time home buyers in Santa Clarita and of course I was one myself once!  I wish I had known then what I know now!

Here are the most frequently asked questions I’ve answered for first time home buyers.  Maybe they’re some of your questions!

Before we get started I have to say, “Congratulations on one of the most important and beneficial decisions of your life!”  The benefits and enjoyment you’ll receive from owning a home far out weigh those of renting a home!

Now onto the most frequently asked questions for First Time Home Buyers In Santa Clarita!

This is easily the number one question I get asked by First Time Home Buyers In Santa Clarita.

Who pays the real estate agent’s commission?

You’ll be relieved to know the seller pays the commission not only for the listing agent but for the buyer’s agent as well! Why? I wish I had an answer for that! It’s always been this way and it doesn’t look like it’s going to change anytime soon!  So make sure you thank the seller and remember when you go to sell your home that you had the services free when you were on the buying side.

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Can I use more than one realtor to find my home?

I remember when I was looking for my first home I thought, two heads are better than one so I should use as many agents as I can.  Makes sense don’t you think?  While there is nothing legally binding you to a single agent unless you sign a Buyer Broker Agreement you should really only use one realtor.  If you have a good agent who is sending you listings consistently, you feel confident in their ability, who answers your questions and calls promptly, they know of listings before they hit the market and they do real estate full time than why would you need another realtor?

Now if you don’t feel the agent you have is doing a good job then let them know as gently as possible and see if they improve.  If they don’t then look for a new agent.

What’s the first thing I need to do if I want to buy a home?

The very first thing you need to do is find out how much home you are approved for.  In order to do that speak to a mortgage lender and get pre-qualified for a mortgage loan.  A lender will look at your credit score, income, debt to income ratio and how much you can put down.  Once you know how much you are approved for, the amount you need for the down payment and closing costs and are comfortable with the monthly mortgage payment then you get to go shopping!  Which leads us to our next question.

What kind of home should I buy?

I am currently working with a client that has such a specific list of “needs” that she hasn’t been able to find a home.  Instead she has lost out on many beautiful homes that met the majority of her needs but she wouldn’t compromise.  As a new home buyer you should focus on things that can’t be changed easily such as location, price and size.  Yes, you can add a room if you need more space but with the cost of permits, homeowner association rules and the amount of time it will take to build that extra room, then choosing a home that meets your size requirements immediately just makes sense. Paint, carpet, windows, appliances etc can all be changed to your liking so focus on the items that can’t be changed.

What price should I offer?

A home is worth whatever a buyer is willing to pay for it.  When deciding on a purchase price your real estate agent will educate and guide you by showing you prices of homes that have sold in the same area with similar square footage, and upgrades as well as taking into consideration the current market trend. This is the same process the realtor used to help the seller come up with their list price.

Another factor to consider is just how much do you love the home?  If you are comfortable with the possibility of not getting the home than you can offer a little less than the asking price but remember the seller doesn’t legally have to respond or counter you if they feel it’s too low. If the seller does counter your offer and they receive an additional offer, they are legally allowed to accept the new offer if they choose to. Now if you love the home than don’t take a chance and offer the seller what they listed it for.

How much are closing costs?

A good rule of thumb is approximately three percent of the purchase price. Closing costs include a variety of charges from escrow fees, prorated taxes, lender fees, notary fees and local, county and state fees. If you think three percent sounds horrible consider what the seller pays in closing costs… a whopping seven to nine percent! You can ask for closing cost to be covered by the seller in your purchase offer but remember they must deduct the closing costs from their bottom line.  For example a 500 thousand dollar offer with the seller paying 3% in closing costs means the seller is really only receiving 485 thousand dollars for their home. I recommend adding your closing costs on top of the purchase price offer. You’ll have a better chance of having your offer accepted if you do.

How many homes should I see before making an offer?

There isn’t a hard and fast rule for how many homes you should look at before making an offer. I looked at three homes before I found my first home and on my second home it was the first home I saw and fell in love with.  If you love the home, the area and it checks off what you’re looking for on your list then submit an offer!

I hope I answered some of your First Time Home Buyer In Santa Clarita questions.  If you have any additional questions please give me a call or fill out the form below!

Want to find out more about Tracey Hampson?  Click Here!

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