When it comes to buying a home for the first time, questions are bound to occur! As real estate agents, it’s our job to guide folks through the often-complex world of home buying. Whether you’re a first-time buyer (or just need a refresher) here are some answers to a few common real estate questions.
What’s the first step of the home buying process?
Your first step for your home buying process should be talking with a bank. They can help you understand exactly how much you can afford and what costs are associated with buying a house. They can also get you pre-approved before looking at homes so you can get the ball rolling in the right direction. Being pre-approved for a mortgage demonstrates that you’re a serious buyer to your real estate agent and home sellers.
What’s the difference between pre-qualified and pre-approved?
Pre-qualified: This gives first-time homebuyers an indication of how much they “might” be qualified to borrow. This mortgage amount isn’t guaranteed because no information has been verified.
Pre-approved: This is based on a real credit score and can put your real estate agent and any home sellers at ease. In a competitive market, this is a definite plus.
What’s a buyer’s market?
A buyer’s market is when home prices decline and demand is lower. Here are some characteristics that might indicate a buyer’s market:
- Interest rates are higher – the amount of money people can borrow to buy a home is reduced, thus reducing the total number of potential buyers in the market. To meet the level of demand, home prices drop and buyers find better deals.
- Higher inventory – the creation of a new subdivision can create downward pressure on prices of older homes in the area.
- Natural disasters – any natural disaster can tank property value in the neighborhood where the disruption occurred.
What’s a seller’s market?
A seller’s market is when an increased demand for home drives the prices up. Here are a few drivers of demand:
- Interest rates are lower – this improves home affordability and creates more buyer interest.
- Low inventory – with fewer homes on the market, prices for existing homes may go up since there are not as many units available.
- Economic factors – if the labor market grows in your area, this can bring an influx of new residents, which in turn pushes up home prices.
How long does it take to buy a home?
This can depend. From looking online to closing escrow, buying a home can take about 10-12 weeks. When you choose a home and your offer is accepted, the average escrow periods are 30 to 45 days. The reason it can depend, however, is how fast the homes are selling. In a hot market, buying a home may take a little longer than usual.
How many homes should I look at before putting in an offer?
Up to you! There’s no right answer for this because it varies from person to person. Some find their home within hours of hunting, others it may take months to find the perfect one. The beauty of shopping for a home today is having the ability to search for homes online and see pictures before even setting foot in them. While the convenience of looking for a house is at an all-time high, nothing beats looking at a home in person!
If you want to streamline the process, let your real estate agent know which area or neighborhood you’re keen on so they can help you hone in.
Do I really need a real estate agent?
Yes! It’s strongly recommended you have a real estate agent. Attempting to buy a home without one can make the process a lot more difficult, and using a realtor is great because they can help represent your best interest when buying a home.
Let Crowe Realty Help You
When it comes to buying a home, being prepared and well educated can make the biggest difference. Crowe Realty agents are here to help you find your perfect home, so if you have any questions, ask! We’re happy to help and guide you through the entire process in the Montrose, Colorado area.