Q: Linda, what do I need to do before I think about purchasing a home?
A: Get your finances in order.
Often when people are considering buying a home, whether it be a first time investment or another home, they believe they can just purchase one like buying a new item for a kitchen. That is usually not the case. Before you buy a home you should check with a lender to see what type of mortgage you qualify for. You should know facts such as:
- Annual Income
- Amount of Cash you have for a down payment*
- Other Home Loans
- Credit Card Balances
- Other Loan Balances (Vehicles, etc.)
- School Loans
- Other factors affecting your income e.g. child support, tax payments, dividends, etc.
*Note: Some first time home buyer loan programs do not require a down payment.
It's a good idea to make a budget to see if you can buy a home of interest and maintain your lifestyle of choice. Talking to a trusted lender is a critical step in determining what your price range will be.
Q: Linda, do I need to be prequalified?
A: It is generally a good idea to get prequalified.
Many sellers require a prequalification letter with your offer to purchase. So you should have that readily available when it comes time to make an offer. In general it will make your offer look stronger.
Q: Linda, what is the cost of prequalification?
A: There is no cost associated with getting prequalified.
Q: Linda, what is prequalification?
A: Prequalification is where you have spoken to a lender about a possible home loan.
This is when you have spoken to a lender, usually over the phone. You will provide him with the information described above. They, in turn, will give you an estimate of what they believe you would qualify for if all the information you have given them is accurate.
IT DOES NOT MEAN YOU ARE QUALIFIED!!
People often think that because they are prequalified they can get the loan when they find the home of their dreams. That is not true. At this point in the loan process they have not run a credit check or verified any of the information you have provided. There may be things on your credit report that are inaccurate or that you have forgotten about that may inhibit the loan process or affect the loan amount.
Q: If I find a home that is not listed by you can you still show it to me?
We are able to show you ANY home, new or resale, no matter who the listing broker is.
If you see a home advertised in the newspaper, or if you drive by a home that interests you, please call us! If you visit an Open House or a New Home Community, please tell the seller's agent in the home that we are representing you.
Remember, home information is always available to us, even if it is not a Linda Craft Team listing.
Q: Linda when we find a house we like how do we buy it?
A: It is a many step process here is a brief overview of the process
You will need an earnest money check to accompany the Offer to Purchase. This may be in the form of a personal check, or in some cases a certified check. A minimum of 1% of the sales price is deemed adequate in most cases. When your written Offer to Purchase is presented to the seller, they have three choices:
- 1. The seller can accept your offer
- 2. The seller can reject your offer
- 3. The seller can make a counteroffer.
Negotiations after the initial written offer are conducted verbally until an agreement is reached. When the seller accepts your offer, or you accept his counteroffer in writing, you have a binding contract for sale on that property. Your earnest money will be deposited in the listing broker's trust account to be held until closing.
Q: Linda, is it best to make a really low offer at first?
It is important to remember that if you make a low offer on a home and the offer is rejected or countered, another prospective buyer may submit an offer that may be accepted by the seller before you have the opportunity to submit another offer or accept the seller's counter to your offer. We have even heard of experiences where a buyer made a low offer to the seller, and the seller was insulted and refused to entertain any more offers from the client.
Q: Linda, would it be in my best interest to work with several Realtors and not just one?
A: It is in YOUR best interest to work exclusively with Linda Craft Team.
- We have access to every home that is in the Triangle Multiple Listing Service
- We are self-employed, not on an expense account, and will be paid only when we find the right home for you.
- Your loyalty is appreciated and in return you will receive the maximum in service from our entire team.
- All of our time and professional advice, experience, and assistance is FREE to you!
Still Have Questions?
For more valuable home buying advice, please check out my Raleigh Real Estate News page, which is full of helpful videos on effectively buying your dream home in the Raleigh area.