As you know I am in full first time homebuyer mode. I spend my weekends searching websites to find homes with all the amenities we want, at a price we can afford and sending questions to our real estate agent. Notice that I said, I spend; not my realtor spends.
I know that I’ve never bought a home before, but I’m pretty sure the client isn’t supposed to be doing the work. If you’ve bought a home did you search for homes with your real estate agent or did they bring listings to you?
To be honest I though that I would find a real estate agent, give them our list of must-haves and they would come back to us with available properties that meet the criteria. Is that not how it works? Currently we’re searching online for homes that have everything we want and in a couple of weeks we’ll start visiting homes. Our wish list includes:
- New construction
- Finished basement
- Single family home (no condo or townhouse)
Here’s a list of questions to ask your real estate agent when buying your first home:
How much down payment do I need?
The mortgage amount, interest rate and pre-approval are based on a variety of factors including your credit score and the amount of the down payment. Although a real estate agent isn’t a mortgage broker they do have a basic knowledge of the process.
The real estate agent will be able to give you an idea of the type of home you can afford based on your wants vs. market availability. Don’t be afraid to talk finances with your real estate agent because it can help the process be more efficient.
Do I need a home inspection?
The answer to this question is yes – except when buying a new home. Apparently a newly constructed home is evaluated for the purchase price and land tax payment, but it doesn’t need to have an official home inspection because all guarantees are offered by the builder with the purchase.
If you’re buying a used home, our real estate agent absolutely recommends getting a home inspection. It helps spot imperfections and lets homeowners know what they’re getting into when it comes to repairs and renovations.
Do some builders have better reputations than others?
The answer is also yes. If you’re purchasing a new home it’s a good idea to research the builder and their reputation, including previous projects. Your real estate agent may also have an established relationship with certain builders and that can work in your favor when negotiating.
What questions did you ask your real estate agent?