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For Urban Living in Austin, TX. Let our Austin Real Estate Agents, REALTORS® assist you in finding your next home including condominiums, lofts, townhouses, downtown high rise properties, apartments and single-family homes for sale and for rent.ntents

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Austin Real Estate - Frequently Asked Questions.Buying FAQ'S

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Faqs About Buyers Agents. Frequently Asked Question About Buying

Austin  Real Estate Broker! Downtown Austin  Loft, Condos, High Rise, Townhomes or House in Austin Texas  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 more
competitive in every way.

              The First Step Is Choosing The Right REALTOR®.

                              Who's Working For You?
Don't rely on the luck of the draw when house hunting. Before you shop for a house shop for an agent. When it comes to buying a house many of us aren't as 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 seller.
Buyers should never assume that an agent is working for them until they see an agency disclosure. 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 know whether the agent represents you as a buyer or a sub-agent of the seller.
Question With so many online tools for finding property, why would you want to hire a buyer's agent?

Answer: There are several advantages Austin is a competitive real estate markets, you may need an agent to give you 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 scoop on
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 negotiating
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 a lower

If a buyer is not represented, the seller's agent will make the
case that they will be doing the work of two.
Austin  Real Estate Broker! Austin Locator Service for a Downtown Austin  Loft, Condos, High Rise, Townhomes or House in Austin Texas Finding the Right Match
Rather than finding a buyer's agent by luck of the draw, consider looking for one
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.

Financing Tips
Credit reports,

Credit Reporting Agencies

Before you start shopping for a loan, you may want to order copies of your credit
report and inspect them for errors.
Home Buying 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?
Question: How 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 key factors:
Your income;

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.

uestion: 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

Question: 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 insurance refer 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 insurance required?

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 financial condition.

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?

: One of the standard contingencies that should be put into an offer is an inspection contingency, which allows you to have professionals inspect the property 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. A positive 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 cost.

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.

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