A: The general rule of thumb is that a larger down payment makes for a stronger offer. Historically, those with 20% down payment or more makes an offer look more appealing to a seller.

As the market has shifted recently, we are starting to see more offers being considered by sellers with lower down payments.

A: There is a difference between what you can afford and your comfort zone. We recommend talking with a quality lender that can advise you on financing options. We can recommend these professionals to you.

A: Yes, definitely! By talking with a lender and getting pre-approved before looking at homes, you will know exactly what you can afford without looking at properties outside your price range. For example, there is no reason to look at properties for $1,400,000 when you can only afford $1,200,000.

Besides the mortgage payment, there are other costs of purchasing that your lender will help you to understand.

A: It is highly recommended that you have a Realtor working for you. Your Realtor will look out for your best interests when buying a home. It is important to note that that all Realtors are not the same.

Remember, a listing agent represents the home seller, not the buyer. Having an experienced Realtor working for you can offer you a level of comfort. You will know that your agent is on your side, putting your interests first.

A: In most cases, the seller pays the Realtor fees.

A: Determining an offer price is both a science and an art. Sure, there are numerous websites that offer estimated property valuations. We find it interesting that those sites can have significantly different value conclusions when using the same historical sales data! This just goes to show that you can’t trust everything you read online.

Your best source for helping to determine the amount to offer on a home is your Realtor. Your agent will know the local market and use their local expertise and market knowledge to determine an appropriate offer price. This gives you an opportunity to have your offer seriously considered by the seller.

A: By selling your existing home first, you put yourself in a stronger negotiating position on your purchase. You will eliminate the need to have a Sale of Property Contingency which, in the current market, makes your offer less competitive.

Most buyers are open to a “rent back” period, which can allow you to remain in your current home for a period of time while closing escrow on your next home.

We are often asked that question. The short answer is there is no set number of properties to look at.

We will do an in-depth needs analysis with you which will help us to define the search criteria. This way, we can focus on showing you homes which most closely align with your requirements. It is not uncommon for our buyers to make an offer after one or 2 home tours.

Though many homes may meet your objective criteria, you will have a “feeling” when you have found the right home on which to make an offer. We are there for you during this entire process.

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