You are ready to buy your new home and a friend recommended their amazing agent. Asking the right questions and sharing concerns will open up the door to great communication and help your agent find your perfect house. 

These are the 7 questions to ask a agent when buying a house:

  1. How Do I Determine My Budget?

This is the first thing you need to know when looking at a house. A good agent will take the time to sit down with you and walk you through all aspects of homeownership and what it costs.  There is the inspection, title, down payment, monthly mortgage payments, insurance, taxes, HOA fees, emergency savings for repairs and on and on and on. 

A great agent will help you work out an estimate for closing costs that will help you understand what you will owe.  From there you can figure out what you are comfortable spending month to month and work backwards to find a number you are comfortable with.

  1. My lender pre-approved me for X amount, what should I spend?

If you already have a pre-approval from your lender, let your agent know so that your search price fits your budget. If you are not pre-approved, ask your agent for guidance.  Pre-approval on a loan is necessary to present a strong offer when bidding on a home.

Factoring all costs of homeownership is truly how you reach your comfort level in budget.  Once your loan is approved you can look at all your other spending like car, groceries, and savings and find a price that works for you.  Don’t overreach so much that it becomes a day to day to struggle to meet your mortgage payment.  

  1. How does the selling and buying at the same time usually work?

The truth is that there are several ways this can be done, but a good agent who has your best interest in mind will walk you through a couple different strategies.

Prior to Owner Advocate agents, people need to sell their existing home to buy their next property, so their contract is contingent on them selling their current home. Owner Advocates are certified in a Trade In program that enables them to work with investors to be a modern day bridge loan without any financing needing to be performed by the homebuyer.

  1. What kind of time frame should I expect?

This question will determine the timeline and set realistic expectations on when you can expect to close the deal. The answer depends on a lot of things, from the area you are in, how fast your title search can be completed and also when the buyer is going to be ready to move.  The buyer may be building and want to stay for 6 months or the building may be vacant and ready to occupy ASAP.

If you need to move quickly it is imperative that you let your agent know so that they can find a great fit for you, but know you may have a lot less choices.

  1. What areas should I be looking at?

There are a lot of things you can change about a place, but you can’t change the address.  Agents can’t tell you where to live, but they can certainly walk you through some exercises to help you better decide. A good Realtor will help establish your wants vs. needs list. You may want to be close to the downtown area but need to have a short commute to work, and your Realtor can help you find neighborhoods to meet that criteria while ignoring places too far out of your range.

  1. What do I get for the money?

In the areas you are looking, your Realtor will be able to show you comparable sales.  They will determine the average cost per square foot as well as pricing for extra bathrooms, additions and upgrades.  They can help you make sure you get what you are looking for without paying extra for things you don’t need.  A pool is beautiful to look at but if you don’t know how to swim, why pay more?

  1. What else should I be looking for?

It is important for you to be upfront with your agent about your lifestyle.  If you don’t have a car and want to be close to public transport, let them know.  If you don’t want to work on the yard, maybe an HOA is best for you.  If you love to garden, maybe a huge yard is more important than a garage.  Once your agent gets to know you they can help find the perfect property.  

I hope this article gave you some idea on how to connect with your agent.  A great agent is worth their weight in gold so find someone you trust and good luck house hunting!