Frequently Asked Question About Buying
What are Buyers Agents?
A Buyer’s Agent is a Realtor who is
employed by and represents the buyer in a real estate transaction,
regardless of whether the Realtor is paid by the buyer, seller or
through a commission split with the listing broker.
Why Every Home Buyer Needs a Buyer's Agent.
Studies show that buyers agents are more
effective at reducing search time for their clients than the traditional
seller agents or non-agent facilitators.
Today, home buying, renting, and selling is faster, more complex, and
competitive in every way.
First Step Is Choosing The
Who's Working For
on the luck of the draw when house hunting.
Before you shop
house shop for an agent. When it comes to buying a house many of us
diligent about finding a buyers agent.
Agents who list property in the Multiple
Listing Service agree to share commissions If other agents bring a
seller to the table. Unless the agent has a buyer's agreement with you,
the agent may be working
as a sub-agent of the seller and obligated to
get the highest price for the
Buyers should never assume that an agent is working for them until they
Texas require that agents disclose their relationship as a seller agent
or a buyer agent at the first substantive contact. A good agent will explain this
early on, law
or no law.
By the time you get in the car and start looking at houses you should
whether the agent represents you as a buyer or a sub-agent of the
Question With so many online tools
for finding property, why would you want
a buyer's agent?
Answer: There are several advantages Austin is a competitive real estate markets, you may need an agent to
a heads up on property as soon as it comes on the market.
If you are relocating to Austin from another state or city, a
buyer's agent will
help you understand what a house is really worth, give you the inside
schools and point out other factors that could affect property values.
In any market, a buyer's agent can act as a buffer during the
process and make sure you've covered all of your bases before closing.
Who pays for all of this? The short answer: the seller's agent.
The commission paid for selling a house has been set, and paid
by the seller.
If buyer's agent brings you to the table, the seller's
agent splits the commission. If you opt to not have a buyer's agent, the
seller's agent will receive the full commission. Some buyers reason that if they don't have an agent, the seller should
be able to negotiate for a lower commission and share some of the
savings with the buyer. The seller can try to negotiate with his or her agent for a lower
commission if you
don't have an agent. But they aren't obligated.
In most markets, it's unlikely that a seller's agent will agree to take
If a buyer is not represented, the seller's agent
will make the
case that they will be doing the work of two.
Finding the Right
than finding a buyer's agent by luck of the draw, consider looking for
before you start shopping around for your dream house. If you do find
an agent you like, it
isn't mandatory for you to have to commit to working with him or her
exclusively but etiquette calls for you to be loyal to an agent who
spends a good deal of time and effort shopping for houses. To that end, buyer's agents are increasingly asking buyers to sign
exclusive agreements. This contract, outlines the agent's
responsibilities, the term of the agreement (usually six months) and
your obligation to work with that buyer's agent,
even if you find a house on your own.
If you spend several hours with one of our realtors, and don't want to
use us, you
don't owe anything to our office . But at some point, we're going to ask
you to make a choice.
Credit Reporting Agencies
Before you start shopping for a loan, you may want to order copies of
report and inspect them for errors.
Questions & Answers
• How much can I afford to spend on a home?
• Are "low-ball" offers advisable?
• How do you choose between fixed and adjustable rate mortgages?
• Are there set interest rates for FHA and VA loans?
• What are the components of a monthly mortgage payment?
• When is private mortgage insurance required?
• Can I safely apply for a mortgage on the Internet?
• What's the difference between being pre-approved or pre-qualified for
a mortgage, and what are the benefits of one over the other?
• How can I be sure that the home I purchase is in good condition?
• What are closing costs?
much can I afford to spend on a home?
Answer: Many experts believe that you can
afford to spend up to three times your gross annual household income.
The price you can afford to pay for a home typically depends on these
The amount of cash you have available for the down payment, closing
costs and cash reserves required by the lender;
Your outstanding debts;
Your credit history;
The type of mortgage you select; and Current interest rates.
Lenders analyze your income relative to your projected cost of home
ownership and outstanding debts to determine the size loan you can have.
Question: Are "low-ball" offers advisable?
Answer: It depends upon market
conditions. If it's an unrealistic offer compared to the market value of
the home, you stand a chance that the seller will not even bother to
negotiate because you're so far apart. Ask your broker to prepare a
comparative market analysis to determine a realistic offer
How do you choose between fixed
and adjustable rate mortgages?
Answer: Risk is involved in selecting an
adjustable rate mortgage, or ARM, because rates may go up. In contrast,
a fixed-rate loan offers good protection against rising interest rates,
but you are locked into the initial rate if interest rates fall. Choosing
between a fixed or adjustable rate mortgage is a matter of personal
choice. The former offers stable payments while the latter offers lower
initial payments. Consider, too, the length of time you plan to own the
home. If you plan to move within three or four years, the ARM is
preferable even if rates rise through the whole period.
Question: Are there set interest rates for
FHA and VA loans?
Answer: No. FHA (Federal Housing
Administration) and VA (Veterans Administration) interest rates
fluctuate just like conventional mortgages. It's best to shop around.
Question: What are the components of a
monthly mortgage payment?
Answer: They are principal, interest, taxes
and insurance, otherwise known as PITI. Principal refers to the part of
the monthly payment that reduces the remaining balance
of the mortgage. Interest is the fee charged to borrow money. Taxes and
to the amounts that are paid into an escrow account each month for
property taxes and mortgage and hazard insurance.
Question: When is private mortgage
Answer: It is typically mandatory if you
put less than 20 percent down, to protect the lender against loss if you
default. Effective for loans written on or after July 29, 1999, lenders
must automatically cancel PMI when the mortgage balance is reduced to 78
percent of the home's original purchase price.
Question: Can I safely apply for a mortgage
on the Internet?
Answer: More and more buyers enter the
marketplace with their mortgage in place, including many who have been
pre-approved or pre-qualified via the Internet.
Question: What's the difference between
being pre-approved or pre-qualified for a
mortgage, and what are the benefits of one over the other?
Answer: You can easily get a
pre-qualification letter by calling a mortgage broker or lender and
providing some basic financial information. Similarly, getting
pre-qualified on the Internet is quick and easy. In contrast, a
pre-approval letter involves verification of the information, which
means that the lender will ask for documentation to confirm your
employment, the source of your down payment and other aspects of your
Getting a pre-approval may be more time consuming than getting a
pre-qualification but carries far more weight. Sellers often prefer to
negotiate with pre-approved buyers because they know that these buyers
are financially qualified to get the financing they need to close the
transaction. Moreover, a pre-approval letter lets your real estate agent
know that you're a well-qualified buyer who is serious about purchasing
a home. These factors notwithstanding, pre-approval letters aren't
binding on the lender, are subject to an appraisal of the home you want
to buy and are time sensitive.
Question: How can I be sure that the home I
purchase is in good condition?
Answer: One of the standard contingencies
that should be put into an offer is an
inspection contingency, which allows you to have professionals inspect
to your satisfaction. Typically scheduled within a certain five-to-eight
day window after
the contract is signed, a home inspection is a thorough examination of
the physical structure of a home - including, but not limited to,
foundation, attic, basement, windows
and doors, heating and cooling systems, electrical wiring and plumbing.
home inspection should increase your confidence that you are making a
solid investment, and your agent can advise you about which inspections
are recommended or required. Note: The home inspection is a buyer's
Question: What are closing costs?
Answer: They are expenses - over and above
the price of a home - incurred by buyers
and sellers in transferring ownership of a property and can be
substantial. Closing costs vary in different parts of the country and
usually include a mortgage origination fee, an attorney's fee, accrued
taxes, an amount placed in escrow, and charges for obtaining title
insurance and a land survey.
To Receive Information About Houses, (New or Pre-Owned), Condos,
Urban Lofts, High Rises, Duplex's, and Townhomes in Austin For Sale.
Personally Prepared To Your Individual Requirements.
Call Us Today
Local: 512 358-8765 Toll Free: 1 866 592-0135
If we sound like your kind of
Austin Real Estate
and Austin Apartment Locating Company,
E-Mail or give us
a call to let us know the details of your move, and one of our Licensed
Relocation Professionals will get
your move underway . . . TODAY!