Should I use a real estate broker?
Using a real estate broker is a very good idea. All the details involved in home buying, particularly the financial ones, can be mind-boggling. A good real estate professional can guide you through the entire process and make the experience much easier.
A real estate broker will be well-acquainted with all the important things you’ll want to know about a neighborhood you may be considering:
- Quality of schools
- Number of children in the area
- Safety of the neighborhood
- Traffic volume and more
He or she will help you figure the price range you can afford and search the classified ads and multiple listing services for homes you’ll want to see. With immediate access to homes as soon as they’re put on the market, the broker can save you hours of wasted driving-around time. When it’s time to make an offer on a home, the broker can point out ways to structure your deal to save you money. He or she will explain the advantages and disadvantages of different types of mortgages, guide you through the paperwork, and be there to hold your hand and answer last-minute questions when you sign the final papers at closing. And you don’t have to pay the broker anything! The payment comes from the home seller – not from the buyer.
Jennifer Stauter & Matt Kornstedt, Buyer Specialists
We will help you to Understand the Process
To help you better understand the process we get together with you and have a HomeTeam4u Buyer Session – this session is much more than going over how many bedrooms & bathrooms you would like to have in your home.
HomeTeam4u Buyer Session:
- Walk you through all the steps in the home buying process.
- Listen to you
- Answer your questions
- Provide our home buying guide
- Create a plan to find the perfect house for you.
- Search for homes using the MLS, FSBOs & Expired Listings
This session allows us to use our knowledge & experience to understand what is important to you so we can help find you the perfect home – all while making the process understandable & easy.
What can I afford for a mortgage?
To get a sense of the maximum you should spend the first step is to chat with a lender you can use this calculator to check out payments. Your lender will let you know how much you’ll likely pay in closing costs. Closing costs include origination fees charged by the lender, title and settlement fees, taxes and prepaid items such as homeowners insurance or homeowners association fees. Closing costs average $2500 in Wisconsin.
How do I find the right home?
Almost 80% of all home searches today begin on the Internet. With just a few clicks of the mouse, you can search through hundreds of online listings, view virtual tours, and sort through dozens of photographs and aerial shots of neighborhoods and homes. You’ve probably defined your goals and have a pretty good idea of the type of home and neighborhood you want. By the time you reach our office, you are halfway to home. You can check the selling prices of comparable homes in your area on Zillow.
How Long should it take to find my house?
In seller’s markets, often we show only one home. After all, how many homes does one family need? A few buyers will look for years, but buyers who do that aren’t motivated. A motivated buyer will find a home within two weeks. Most of our buyers find a home within two days. We will listen to your wants and needs and arrange to show only those homes that fit your particular parameters.
How Many Homes Will a Home Buyer See?
Studies show that your memory dramatically improves after consumption of carbs and slows upon consuming sugar. So, lay off the soft drinks and have a hearty meal of carbs before venturing out to tour homes. The average number of homes that we show to a buyer in one day is seven. Any more than that, and the brain is on overload. Therefore, don’t expect to see 20 or 30 homes; although it’s physically possible to do so, you probably will not remember specific details about any of them.
How a First-Time Home Buyer Can Rate Inventory
- Bring a digital camera and begin each series of photos with a close-up of the house number to identify where each group of home photos start and end.
- Take copious notes of unusual features, colors and design elements.
- Pay attention to the home’s surroundings. What is next door? Do 2-story homes tower over your single story?
- Do you like the location? Is it near a park or a power plant?
- Immediately after leaving, rate each home on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the highest.
View Top Choices a Second Time Before Buying That First Home
After touring homes for a few days, you will probably instinctively know which one or two homes you would like to buy. Ask to see them again. You will see them with different eyes and notice elements that were overlooked the first go-around. At this point, we will call the listing agents to find out more about the sellers’ motivation and to double-check that an offer hasn’t come in, making sure these homes are still available to purchase.
Making the Selection to Buy a Home
Little secret…we generally know which home a buyer is going to choose, and we suspect most other agents operate the same way. It’s an intuition. But we make it a practice not to steer buyers, and we insist that buyers choose the home without interference from us. It’s not our choice to make.
Real estate agents are required, however, to point out defects and should help buyers feel confident that the home selected meets the buyer’s search parameters.
Why should I buy, instead of rent?
A home is an investment. When you rent, you write your monthly check and that money is gone forever. But when you own your home, you can deduct the cost of your mortgage loan interest from your federal income taxes, and usually from your state taxes. This will save you a lot each year, because the interest you pay will make up most of your monthly payment for most of the years of your mortgage. You can also deduct the property taxes you pay as a homeowner. In addition, the value of your home may go up over the years. Finally, you’ll enjoy having something that’s all yours – a home where your own personal style will tell the world who you are.
When I find the home I want, how much should I offer?
We can help you with this decision, but there are several things you should consider: 1) is the asking price in line with prices of similar homes in the area? 2) Is the home in good condition or will you have to spend a substantial amount of money making it the way you want it? You probably want to get a professional home inspection before you make your offer. Your real estate broker can help you arrange one. 3) How long has the home been on the market? If it’s been for sale for awhile, the seller may be more eager to accept a lower offer. 4) How much mortgage will be required? Make sure you really can afford whatever offer you make. 5) How much do you really want the home? The closer you are to the asking price, the more likely your offer will be accepted. In some cases, you may even want to offer more than the asking price, if you know you are competing with others for the house.
So what will happen at closing?
Basically, you’ll sit at a table with your broker, the broker for the seller, probably the seller, and a closing agent. The closing agent will have a stack of papers for you and the seller to sign. While he or she will give you a basic explanation of each paper, you may want to take the time to read each one and/or consult with your agent to make sure you know exactly what you’re signing. After all, this is a large amount of money you’re committing to pay for a lot of years! Before you go to closing, your lender is required to give you a booklet explaining the closing costs, a “good faith estimate” of how much cash you’ll have to supply at closing, and a list of documents you’ll need at closing. If you don’t get those items, be sure to call your lender before you go to closing. It will help you understand your rights in the process. Don’t hesitate to ask questions.