If you are like most people, you might find the idea of buying your first home overwhelming. In addition to tracking down the perfect place in the right neighborhood, you might also be worried about buying a lemon or paying more than you should. However, with the help of a real estate agent, you might be able to navigate through your first home purchase like a pro. Here are three questions that you should ask your realtor before you sign any papers, so that you can get a great deal.
1: "What are similar properties selling for in the area?"
After you have finally found the house of your dreams, you might be tempted to offer the full asking price and start picking out furniture. However, buying property isn't like choosing a new car, and home prices can vary significantly depending on the state, city, and neighborhood where the house is located. Before you ask your agent to submit an offer, make sure to ask what other similar properties in the area have sold for.
Your real estate agent has access to a special database called the MLS, which stands for Multiple Listing Services. This database allows them to search for properties based on location, size, features, and sale price. Although it might seem like a waste of time to find the prices of homes that have already sold, the fact of the matter is that the information might help your realtor to negotiate a better price for your home.
For example, if you are thinking about purchasing a four-bedroom home in the heart of Dallas, Texas for $270,000, but the comparable properties in the area only sold for around $250,000, you might be able to avoid offering more than you should. On the other hand, if you know that the comparable properties have sold for much more than what a home is listed for, you might be able to act fast and put in a strong offer to beat out other buyers.
2: "Does this area have a good reputation?"
If you are new to an area, it can be hard to distinguish the good neighborhoods from the bad ones. Fortunately, an experienced real estate agent might be able to tell you a lot about different parts of town, so that you can choose a great location.
In addition to being able to give you a good idea regarding the overall growth of the area, your realtor might also be able to let you know about new industrial buildings, city developments, or zoning changes that could affect the value of your home. Real estate agents might also be able to explain how the cost of living in your chosen area compares with nearby cities, and whether or not the neighborhood is governed by a homeowner's association.
3: "What types of things can I negotiate into my mortgage contract?"
Believe it or not, you realtor might be able to do more than talk down the price of your home. Here are a few things that your real estate agent might be able to negotiate into your mortgage contract to save you money.
- Closing Costs: Since closing costs usually end up being around 2-5% of the total price of your home, they represent a huge expense for most buyers. However, your real estate agent might be able to talk the sellers into paying this expense, so that you can worry about other things.
- Home Repairs: Your real estate agent can also make your home purchase contingent on a passing home inspection, or ask that the sellers pay for any repairs that the house needs.
Asking your real estate agent the right questions might help you to get a great deal on a home that you will love for many years to come.
For more information, go to sites of local real estate companies.