Q: How does a Buyer’s Agent or Transaction Broker get paid?
A: A buyer’s agent or transaction broker is typically paid by the listing agent of the property being purchased. The listing agent and the seller will agree on a gross commission as compensation to list and market the home. From the gross commission, the listing agent will typically offer a portion of their gross commission to a cooperating buyer’s agent or transaction broker for helping the listing agent find a buyer. The gross commission is then calculated from contract/closing price of the home and paid by the seller, usually from the proceeds of the sale.
Q: When should I apply for a home loan?
A: You can apply for a loan or start the loan application process, at any time while you’re looking for a home, even a few days after making an offer on a property. However, I highly recommend getting pre-qualified or pre-approved by a lender prior to actively looking for a home to purchase. There are two major advantages to being pre-qualified.
1) It helps you understand what a comfortable price range is for you and your family.
2) It shows to sellers when making an offer on their home that you are a serious buyer and have already begun the financial process.
Imagine you are a seller and are considering two offers on your home. The first offer: the buyer has not yet applied for a loan, thus is not sure of how much they can qualify for or even if they will qualify. The second offer: the buyer has already started the loan process and is well aware of their financial ability to buy. Which offer would you accept?
Q: How do I know I’m getting a “good value” when I buy a home?
A: A “good value” can be very subjective. Each buyer, and seller, is unique and weight value to different features/attributes of home. What would you value if: you had a large family; liked hobbies; gardener; shade tree mechanic; do-it-yourself handyman…? However, with my extensive background in real estate I can help you understand major factors affecting market value. But, you will also surprise yourself. When we look for a home together we will see many properties and as we discuss different homes and market areas you will begin to assign and understand market value influences. One of my many goals is to help you become well informed and educated so you are comfortable with your decision to purchase your new home.
Q: I heard something about radon gas; do I need to be concerned?
A: The origins of radon gas out dates our earliest ancestors and are simply a geology feature of wonderful Colorado. Radon gas comes from the breakdown of uranium in the soil, rocks, water and air. If a home is built on ground with a higher concentration of uranium then the radon gas levels could be higher than typical and can be a health concern. There are tests to measure the radon gas levels in a home. If the test shows a higher level than preferred there are measures to mitigate the gas from the home, usually in the basement of a property. These pro-active measures are typically very effective and solve the possible health problems. For more information please visit http://www.epa.gov/radon/pubs/hmbyguid.html#1.
Q: When I get a home inspection that guarantees my new home is trouble free, right?
A: There are some very good home inspectors with extensive backgrounds in the field. Their input can be a valuable service to help ease some of the stress when purchasing a home. But, nothing is fail safe. For example, one day your car is working great and the next day…? A good home inspection can help identify problems and/or the potential problems; of a home you are interested in purchasing. I also recommend, when questions arise of major systems or features i.e. roof or furnace, to have a specialist in the field examine the item in concern. Home inspectors are a great asset to evaluate the entire house, but obviously their trade does not allow them to be an expert of one particular item/feature.