The Stephen Cooley Real Estate Group at Keller Williams is fortunate to be currently ranked #1 in the Carolinas and #9 in the world amongst Keller Williams Groups. As such you can imagine our agents love working with and guiding a wide variety of buyers – all armed with one thing in common – questions! Not surprisingly, many of these buyers often have similar questions that pop up on a regular basis. For this week’s blog we felt it might be interesting and helpful to answer some of those here. Of course every situation is different and our knowledgeable agents are ready to answer any question – this is simply a great place to start!
Should I work with a realtor?
Obviously our answer to this is going to be an emphatic “YES!” Choosing the right representation to protect your interests and guide you through the process can make the difference between a positive, life changing experience and meeting with frustration and disappointment again and again. Our agents know their market. They love the areas and communities they serve and have a passion for helping people realize their home ownership dreams. In a time where almost too much information is available to us, your realtor can help analyze, interpret and filter a nearly endless stream of data which will allow you to focus on the things that matter most to you.
It’s also important to remember that the work doesn’t end when you find that perfect home. In many ways, the real work is just beginning. Helping you to submit an offer, guide you through the home inspection process and relay information to the seller through their agent are just some of the things your trusted agent will be assisting you with. In a positive experience, your relationship with your agent should be one you hold close and use for advice on any and all home or real estate related questions both now and in the future. At the Stephen Cooley Real Estate Group we are proud to have provided the highest level of professionalism and expertise to thousands of buyers in the Carolinas over the years. The referrals we receive from these past and current clients only helps prove the value of an outstanding relationship with the realtor you choose.
What kind of home can we afford?
This question is often the first in a series of questions that helps guide people through the buying process. It can be answered at least in part by analyzing:
- Down payment amount, closing costs and cash reserved required by the lender.
- Any outstanding debt
- Credit history
- Mortgage type and current interest rates
Speaking to a quality lender can assist you in navigating the numbers. Fortunately we have great relationships in the area and can point you in the right direction! They’ll review the all important debt to income ratio, your personal credit history and other pertinent information, and in the end, provide you with a pre-qualification letter to lead you in your search. With our dedicated team of buyers’ agents at your side, matching your finances to your needs will guide you to the perfect home!
How do we review the condition of the home we end up considering?
All sellers will provide a complete disclosure which will reveal anything that is known about the property. It will disclose any malfunction or defect within the home’s major systems. Additionally, a checklist is provided to detail the condition of interior and exterior walls, ceilings, roof, insulation, windows, fences, driveway, sidewalks, floors, doors, foundation, as well as the electrical and plumbing systems.
The form also asks sellers to note the presence of environmental hazards, walls or fences shared with adjoining landowners, any encroachment of easements, room additions or repairs made without the necessary permits or not in compliance with building codes, zoning violations, citations against the property and lawsuits against the seller affecting the property.
In addition to the seller’s disclosure it is highly recommended that you hire an independent professional to inspect the home. Professional home inspectors are educated in what to look for to help ensure that you make an educated decision before committing to purchasing the home. Again, we can assist you in finding the professional that can give you the peace of mind you need before moving forward.
Should we be looking at existing or new build?
The easy way out on this one would be to simply answer, “Yes.” Both new and existing homes offer advantages and challenges. Some feel that there is more financial security in selecting an existing home in a well established community. Others feel that “new” provides less risk in things “wearing out” or needing replacement. We can provide statistics and facts to support nearly any argument but ultimately the decision is a personal one and can change throughout your search.
“Existing homes have been appreciating a little more than new homes but every once in awhile they’re at the same level and sometimes the new home prices go up a little quicker” according to the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR).
Quotes like the one above prove the point that the choice is subjective to say the least. Working with your realtor you can preview a variety of different neighborhoods with homes that fit your criteria and also leverage their representation if you would enjoy looking at new build models as well. Ultimately, it most often falls to the mantra that “when you’ll know, you’ll know” and you should be confident that our agents will cast a wide enough net to ensure you are confident in your final decision.
Obviously this is very small sample of the types of inquiries we receive on a daily – even hourly – basis. We love leveraging our experience, expertise and community ties to help you make the best informed decisions possible and are available throughout the entire process. We look forward to hearing YOUR questions and earning YOUR trust today.
So what questions would you like answered? Add them in the comments below and help us get a conversation started!
See you next time,