Frequenly Asked Questions
1. Can I use my own Real Estate Agent?
Yes, you may use your own Real Estate Agent. It is important to know that you are working with a Real Estate professional that is knowledgeable, in the field, and will represent your best interest. Using an Agent that you feel comfortable with is paramount to making sound financial decisions. Your Agent is an expert in analyzing up to date market trends that will inform and guide you in making an educated decision.
2. Is it really a good time to buy?
Yes, this is the best time to buy; timing couldn't be better. We are experiencing the best buyer's market we have had in years! The foreclosure statistics are reaching record heights and quickly rising to around 40% of our current active listing inventory. Negative press has instilled hesitation and fear in the minds of many perspective purchasers. This has caused a decrease in demand resulting in an overabundance of available inventory. Prices have decreased steadily making investment in real estate both low risk and affordable.
3. Am I responsible for back taxes, liens etc.?
No, you are not responsible for back taxes, liens etc. Taxes are typically prorated to the date of closing. Transactions are subject to title examination and can be subject to attorney review.
4. Do you accept mortgage contingencies?
Yes, mortgage contingencies are accepted. Keep in mind that time frames are extremely important to the seller. Your Agent will need either an up to date pre-qualification letter, from a lender, or proof of funds in order to present your written offer to purchase.
5. Can I find a loan program that will provide money for repairs?
Yes, there are several loan programs that provide money for repairs. However, the biggest obstacle is the time frame. Most lenders want to close in 30 days. Rehab loans are more time consuming and can take around 45 days. This 45 day time frame can be greatly reduced if you have your contractors lined up. Several bids may be required and the quicker the response time the greater chance of meeting the 30 day close date.
6. How much do I need for a down payment?
Your down payment can be as low as zero dollars. Some loan programs require that the seller contribute to the down payment and closing costs. FHA has programs available that allow 3% for a down payment. Bottom line, there are many loan products available to suit your needs.
7. How much do I need for earnest money?
The amount of earnest money that is required varies. For an offer with a financing contingency you will need a minimum of $1000 earnest money. For a cash transaction, several lenders are requiring 10% earnest money.
8. How long do I have to wait for a response?
The response time can vary depending on the lender and the circumstances. Most response times are fairly quick; about 1-3 days.
9. What are the biggest risks?
The biggest risks are the condition of the property and meeting the required deadlines.
A. Condition of the property. Listing agents do not have any real dialog or any real form of communication with the previous mortgagor. There are no disclosures regarding any possible defects. Most lenders will allow inspections. Properties are sold "as is" so it is important that you do your homework. Hire a knowledgeable home inspector that can point out possible problems. Contractors can supply bids for any necessary repairs that may be needed.
B. Deadlines. It is critical that the attorney review, inspection, mortgage contingency and close dates are adhered to. Most lenders charge a per diem fee of $100, per day, for late closings. Often extension requests are granted. However, this is not always the case. Deadlines that are not met can result in a penalty and possible loss of earnest money.
10. Are there hidden fees?
No, there are no hidden fees. It is important that you actually read the bank required addendums. Many of these addendums are used nation wide and may contain fees that are not typical in our state. These are not hidden fees but should be taken into consideration when calculating closing costs to the buyer. Bank owned property addendums can not be altered by anyone. If property addendums are altered they will not be accepted by the bank.
11. Does the bank supply a survey?
In most cases the bank will not supply the survey and it is typically a cost passed on to the purchaser.
This is the best time to buy! Knowledge is fundamental. Be sure your real estate professional has expertise in dealing with bank owned properties. Your Agent can analyze market data and has the resources available to help you choose a lender, attorney and inspector that can streamline the entire process.