Answers to most of your
Why should I use a real estate agent?
A real estate agent is more than just a sales person. A
real estate agent may act on your behalf, providing you
with advice and guidance when buying or selling a home.
Due to the constant changing of the market, the
information available on listings is not always 100%
accurate. There are times when you need the most
current information about what has sold or is for sale,
and the only way to get that is with a real estate
If you are in the market to buy, it would be advisable
to use a Buyer's Agent. They can make recommendations
on what terms and prices to offer as well as negotiating
a deal with your best interest in mind.
What is a REALTOR®?
A REALTOR® is an agent or agency that belongs to the
local or state board of REALTORS® and is affiliated with
the "National Association of REALTORS® (NAR). They
follow a strict code of ethics beyond state license laws
and also sponsor the Multiple Listing System (MLS),
which is used to list houses for sale.
What's the Difference between a "Listing
Agent" and "Selling Agent"?
usually deal with sellers, and are the ones who will
list a property for sale on the Multiple Listing
(also Buyers Agents) mostly deal with the homebuyers,
usually only listing just a few homes for sale. They
will sell the homes (which have been placed in the MLS)
via the listing agents.
The majority of agents will focus on one or the other.
Some agents will also divide their time between sellers
and buyers and are usually regarded as the best ones
since they are dealing with both sides of the coin.
If you phone an agent from a magazine or newspaper ad,
you are usually contacting the listing agent. These
agents will place ads to show the seller that they are
making an effort to sell their home. Also their
advertising efforts can draw others who may decide to
sell their homes.
What is a broker?
An agent who is authorized to open and run his/her own
agency. All real estate offices have one principal
What is a Multiple Listing Service (MLS)?
A multiple listing service is a computerized listing of
the homes for sale in an area listed with a realtor.
Agents are granted access to the MLS and can use it to
find a house in a particular price range or area.
Is an older home as good a value as a new
This is really just a matter of preference, but both
newer and older homes offer distinct advantages,
depending upon your unique taste and lifestyle.
Older homes can generally cost less than new
homes, however, there are many cases where new homes can
also cost less then older homes. Most new homes will not
have any backyard landscaping and some don't include any
front landscaping either. With an older home, the
landscaping is normally already completed and could have
10''s of thousands of dollars in landscaping done, which
is included in the purchase price.
Taxes on some older homes may also be lower. Some people
are charmed by the elegance of an older home but shy
away because they're concerned about potential
maintenance costs. Consider a home warranty to get the
peace of mind you deserve. A good Home Warranty plan
protects you against unexpected repairs on many home
systems and appliances for a full year or more after you
Can a home depreciate in value?
Generally, real property never depreciates in value, or
more so, it is not very common for property to
depreciate. This is why it's a great investment. Make
sure you carefully consider location and community when
choosing a home, it can effect the homes future value
If you are in a newly developed area, do some research
on the construction of the surrounding areas being
developed to determine if they may effect your homes
What is a contingency?
A contingency is a provision included in a sales
contract stating that certain events must occur or
certain conditions must be met before the contract is
What is title insurance?
Title insurance is insurance that protects the lender
and buyer against any losses incurred from disputes over
the title of a property.
What is an escrow officer?
An escrow officer is the person that walks you through
the closing process. They are usually employed by the
title company that you are working with. They are a
neutral third-party, responsible for overseeing the
escrow process. They typically perform the title
searches, prepare final paperwork, witness the document
signings as well as ensure that the transaction is
executed properly and legally.
What is homeowners association (HOA)?
Homeowners association is a nonprofit association that
manages the common areas of a condominium or "planned
unit development" (PUD). Unit owners pay a fee to the
association in order to maintain areas such as a pool or
playground that are owned jointly.
What is the difference between being
prequalified and preapproved for a loan?
If you're prequalified it means that you
get a loan for the amount stated to you, assuming that
all of the information you provide to the bank is
accurate and true. This is not as strong as a
If you're preapproved, it means that you have undergone
the extensive financial background check, which includes
looking at your credit history, previous tax returns and
verifying your employment - and the lender
is willing to give
you a loan, basically meaning you're approved!
You will usually be provided an accurate figure which
shows the maximum amount that you are approved
for. Most sellers prefer buyers that have been
preapproved because they know that there will not be any
problems with the purchase of their home.
What are closing costs?
Closing costs are expenses incurred by buyers and
sellers in transferring ownership of a property.