Home Buyer’s FAQ
Frequent Buying Questions:
Q. What if the buyer and seller are both clients of the same company?
A. When real estate brokers and agents in the same firm agree to represent, as clients, both buyers and sellers, it is inevitable that buyer-clients of the firm may want to buy property owned by seller-clients of the same firm. The chances of this happening increase when the real estate firm is a large one or the predominate firm in a given market place. A real estate company may designate a specific agent of the firm to represent the buyer and another to represent the seller. When dealing with each other on behalf of clients with adverse interests, the firm’s agents will treat each other “at arms length” and only discuss or share information with the other agent that would be in the best interests of their respective clients.
Please keep in mind to consult a real estate professional or an attorney as laws may vary from state to state.
Q. What to expect from an agent when buying a home?
A. A real estate agent can provide a broad range of services to help you find the right home in the shortest period of time. Professional real estate services may include:
- Helping you pre-qualify for a loan so that you’ll know what price range you can afford.
- Presenting you with detailed information about each community such as the prices and characteristics of homes in the area, the location of schools and shopping, property tax rates, availability of transportation and other services.
- Showing you homes that meet your specific requirements without wasting your time seeing properties that would not suit your needs (your real estate professional can generate a complete list of homes from the Multiple Listing Service that specifically fit your wish list and your personal financial status).
- Presenting your offer to the seller as a third party who is positioned to negotiate on your behalf as a buyer representative until agreement is reached.
- Consulting with you about the make-up of neighborhoods, mortgage loan availability, real estate attorneys; escrow services, home inspections, utility costs, title insurance, etc.
Q. Why do I need a home inspection?
A. Know the facts before buying your home. Even with the importance and legal obligations of a seller to disclose material facts, there still remains the unknown. A qualified home inspector (generally one who is a member of ASHI – American Society of Home Inspectors) can ease the burden of the unknown condition of a home. There are many types of inspections available to the homebuyer; consult with your real estate professional to help determine what is right for the type of property being purchased. The more common types of inspections are as follows:
- General Home Inspection – Generally consists of inspecting the following components: site, basement, exterior, interior, equipment, plumbing, heating/air conditioning, electric. Consult with your home inspector as not all inspectors/inspections cover the same topics.
- Structural Inspection – For more detailed information on the structural integrity of a home, generally inspected by a licensed engineer.
- Pest/Termite – In most states it is a state law that the closing of a home cannot occur without a clear termite inspection.
- Well – The inspection of the homes well system. May include the operation of the well, water flow and water potability.
- Septic – Evaluation of the homes septic/sewage disposal system.
- Radon – To determine if radon is evident and at what levels.
- Asbestos – To determine if the home contains any asbestos materials.