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Rose and Womble Realty Company
Equal Housing Opportunity  Realtor®

Buyer Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Why should I use a Realtor to buy a new home?
  2. What should I do first?
  3. Shouldn't I go through lots of houses and see what the difference in prices means before I apply for a loan?
  4. Why would I ever want to look at an ugly house?
  5. How many houses should I look at in a day?
  6. What's the most important element in a house?
  7. If it's in a good location, what else should I look for?
  8. What if I have to sell my house to buy a new one?
  9. How important is it to conduct inspections?
  10. What do I need to bring to the closing?
  11. What about a walk-through inspection?
  12. What's important about the sales contract?
  13. I hate the paint color but the house has everything else I need. What should I do?
  14. Won't an offer that's lower than the seller's list be an insult?
  15. What should I do about the bank loan?
  16. Why am I apprehensive about the whole idea of buying a new home?
  17. Under what circumstances would I hire someone to help me with conveyancing in Brisbane?

1. Why should I use a Realtor to buy a new home?

Many reasons, all of them sound. Who knows the process better than a professional? Who can provide guidance to the experts you may need to assess the property and its condition? Who is expert at the presentation of offers and the negotiations which take place thereafter? Who can remain objective about various properties when the emotional attractiveness of one seems overwhelming? Who can best provide the comparative information necessary to make an informed decision? Who keeps tabs on the market for new listings which may fit your needs perfectly? The answer could go on for paragraphs, but the simple fact is that the purchase of a new home requires the expenditure of extremely high amounts of money and use of a professional provides you the greatest amount of opportunity to make an informed decision and financial commitment.
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2. What should I do first?

Determine your budget. Sit down with a representative from your lending institution and determine what you can spend, and what you want to spend. There is nothing more important.
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3. Shouldn't I go through lots of houses and see what the difference in prices means before I apply for a loan?

You can, but you’re wasting your time. Once you know the price range with which you are comfortable, tell your Realtor what you want in a house. That’s his job, to help you find what you want, what you need and within the right price range.
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4. Why would I ever want to look at an ugly house?

Sometimes the "ugly" in a house is totally superficial and disguises a wonderful, livable floor plan and huge financial savings. Many many "ugly" houses can become dream homes with very little effort and money. If a house meets your basic needs and is on your Realtor's list to look at, go ahead. If the house is totally unacceptable, at least you've established for your Realtor what you consider unacceptably "ugly".
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5. How many houses should I look at in a day?

Usually you'll find that after the first five or six, you'll be ready to call it quits. Getting there, climbing out of the car, touring the house, discussing its features, climbing back in the car, and driving to the next house on the list can be emotionally and physically draining. My experience has been that they all seem to telescope into one hideous collection of memories unless you make notes and identify each house by the its first impression on you. If you have only a short time to make a decision, have your Realtor preview the homes and shoot digital photos for you before you get into the car.
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6. What's the most important element in a house?

Location. Nothing else comes close. The value of a home is intrinsically entwined with the neighborhood in which it is located. If the neighborhood is declining the value of the house will decline.
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7. If it's in a good location, what else should I look for?

Structural integrity. Homes built in the 19th century are still livable and structurally sound. Will the house you're looking at fare as well. Was it well-built? Are there any signs of serious neglect or poor construction? Is the siting on the lot of a nature to ensure that water will always run away from the foundation? Is there any sag to the roof? Are there any bowed exterior walls? Has the chimney separated from the house? Have tree roots been allowed to dislodge any portion of the foundation? Are the windows still square and do the doors open and close properly?
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8. What if I have to sell my house to buy a new one?

In a dynamic market, your position could be weak. Sellers want certainty of sale when contracts are offered. If the purchase of the new home is contingent upon the sale of your current home you cannot offer a seller that certainty. There are any number of approaches you can take, and all are dependent on the form of financing you've structured. Some buyers find that there is sufficient equity in their homes against which they are able to borrow in order to close on the new property without the consummation of the sale of the current home. Others offer a contract controlled by a First Right of Refusal agreement which allows the seller to continue marketing the property. You, the buyer, have the opportunity to remove the contingency if the seller has provided you notification that he has received another contract. You will have to provide the seller proof of your ability to purchase the home.
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9. How important is it to conduct inspections?

Extremely. Professionally-conducted inspections will assure you that there are no major defects in the house and that the heating, cooling, plumbing, electrical, roofing and appliance systems in the house are in operating condition at the time of the inspection. You can make the contract subject to a satisfactory inspection, or you can designate the inspection for your informational purposes only. The most critical inspection is that for termite and/or water damage to the foundation of the home. Your lender will require such an inspection be satisfactory before funding the mortgage. The appraisal of the property will also approximate an inspection but not to the same degree as an accredited homebuyer's inspector's.
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10. What do I need to bring to the closing?

Yourself, a photo ID, a certified check in the amount of the funds due over and above your mortgage funding and other credits.
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11. What about a walk-through inspection?

Your walk-through inspection takes place just prior to the scheduled closing and is your chance to confirm that the property is in substantially the same condition as the day you contracted for it, that all the equipment and systems in the home are in working order, and that the seller has removed all personal possessions, trash and debris.
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12. What's important about the sales contract?

Everything. Each provision has a specific purpose and provides both buyers and sellers alike protections under the law. If you have questions, as you will, do not hesitate to ask them. The contract is your opportunity to spell out precisely all the terms and conditions under which the property will change hands.
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13. I hate the paint color but the house has everything else I need. What should I do?

Paint is the easiest change to make to a house. If everything else about the property matches your needs and expectations, consider the repaint a small price to pay for having everything else you want.
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14. Won't an offer that's lower than the seller's list be an insult?

Never worry about insulting the seller. The house is up for sale and you are a buyer. You are qualified to buy or you wouldn't be making an offer. If, however, you tell the sellers that their décor and the people in the family photos are ugly and that's why your offer is low, then you are insulting the seller. Your objective is to buy the property. The sellers' objective is to sell the property. Make the offer at the price with which you are comfortable and which reflects the value of the home to you or sets the plateau for further negotiations. After all, this is a business decision you are making. Be prepared to walk away from the deal if the price exceeds your comfort level.
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15. What should I do about the bank loan?

Money is a commodity, just like lettuce. Mortgage bankers are in the business of selling money in the form of home loans, just like grocers and heads of iceberg. Talk to several lenders. Have them propose loan programs and quote rates. Find the one you like and who offers the best overall package for you. Then be certain to complete the application process and have a loan approval pending contract and acceptable appraisal in your pocket.
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16. Why am I apprehensive about the whole idea of buying a new home?

Human beings resist changes, especially dramatic ones. Buying a new home can be one of the most enjoyable or one of the worst experiences you will ever undertake. Understanding the entire process and approaching it with the help of a true professional gives you the greatest opportunity to ensure that buying that new home will be a pleasant experience and memory. The stress level is greatly reduced when you know that you have someone working on your behalf, someone who has the expertise and knowledge to avoid the pitfalls and obstacles, to guide you through the process.
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17. Under what circumstances would I hire someone to help me with conveyancing in Brisbane?

The most common reason to hire a conveyancer in Brisbane is to get pre-buying advice, or for the buying or selling of a property. They can assist to prepare your documentation and gain valuable property sales cycle offer information to share with you. But, aside from buying or selling a property, there are a number of other instances when you may require a licensed conveyancing professional. Conveyancersunderstand the laws in Brisbane, so if you're considering a subdivision of land, updating of a Title (Removing/adding a spouse or a death registration) or Easement (changing, registering or removing), a conveyancer can provide you with advice on these other matters.
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