So you wanna buy a house... Here's the deal.
Why should i Work with a realtor?
A Realtor is going to represent you and protect your best interests throughout the entire home buying or selling process. You wouldn’t go before a judge in court without proper legal representation, the same goes for making one of the biggest purchases of your life!
what does it cost to work with a realtor?
If you are a home buyer, it's FREE to work with a Realtor, (or as we call ourselves, a Buyer's Agent)! It's pretty standard in the state of Texas for a seller to pay the full commission to the Listing Agent (the Seller's Realtor) and then when the buyer's agent brings a buyer in to buy a home the listing agent splits that commission (paid by the seller) with them on Closing Day.
I'm relocating to the area out of state, do I have to use the realtor that my company or mortgage lender RECOMMENDS?
No, you absolutely do not need to use them. Actually, it's not legal for them to require that you do. Many times companies like this use certain real estate companies or lender relationships because they pay referral fees to each other for recommending their on services. Not only does this structure not benefit you at all, because they likely will just treat you like a "number" but In my opinion it's unethical to give or receive any kind of kickback for services that should be earned.
What's the deal with zillow, trulia, realtor.com redfin and other online home search sites?
Home Search websites like Zillow and Trulia take the data released by a search portal Realtors use called, the multiple listings service. When a home seller lists a home for sale with a Realtor, the realtor puts that data in the MLS (multiple listings service) and then it gets sent to over 500 home search websites automagically, like Zillow and Trulia and Realtor.com... the problem with you relying on those search websites to look for homes instead of the actual MLS links that I will send you directly, is that the data is not updated frequently and sometimes a home can be under contract or sold for a day or two before it's even updated on their website.
How much cash do i really need to buy a house?
So typically speaking you'll need your down payment (which is a percent of the purchase price of the home) and you'll need closing costs (which are lender fees, prorated taxes, your first year's payment for home owners insurance, and any HOA dues). Once we start the search and find the perfect home to go ahead and write an offer on it, you'll need around 1% of the purchase price to put in an escrow account with the title company that goes towards your down payment on closing day. Also, if you're planning on having a home inspection done on the home prior to purchasing that cost is between $400 and $600 and is paid for by the buyers.
So depending on the purchase amount, that number can range from a few thousand dollars to a hundred thousand.
All my money goes towards paying rent! How on earth can i save for a down payment!
Not a problem...Believe it or not, there are many home loans that buyers can qualify for that are 0% down payment. There are even some loans that are called 103% which cover all of the down payment for your and up to 3% of the closing costs too! Your overall interest on the life of the loan may be slightly higher, but it helps to build up that equity in the beginning if you're short the cash, or if you want to save some money to put back into remodels or projects.
What is a Title Company, and what do they do?
Title Companies are a disinterested 3rd party in the home buying process and they make sure that there are no liens or “clouds” in the ownership title between the home seller and home buyers. They also facilitate the creation and signing (closing) of all of the legal documents that go into the home buying transaction.