15 Common Homebuyer Questions

So you are ready to buy a home, but you’ve got questions. You are not alone. Every homebuyer, even those who have purchased homes before, has questions, and you should too. Here are some common questions to ask when buying a home, whether it is your first home or your next home.

  1. What is my housing budget? What can I afford to spend on a home?
  2. How much do I need for a down payment? This will depend on a lot of factors, including the state of the housing market in your area, the type of mortgage(s) you qualify for, whether or not you need private mortgage insurance (PMI), and how to put your best offer on the table.
  3. How much are closing costs, and who pays for what (buyer vs. seller)?
  4. Is my credit good enough? What is an acceptable credit score range for me to qualify to buy a home?
  5. What are standard commission rates for Realtors® and how is that handled?
  6. Mortgage rates are going up. Is this a good time to buy?
  7. Are there any problems with the house? A home inspection can help answer these questions for you. Pay attention to potentially costly repairs such as replacing a roof, heating and cooling systems, structural issues, plumbing problems, etc.
  8. How old are the appliances? Will you need to replace any of them in the near future?
  9. What is the neighborhood like? Crime? Schools?
  10. Why is the seller leaving?
  11. What are similar homes selling for? Your Realtor® will be able to provide you with “comparables” to see if the asking prices of the homes you are considering are reasonable.
  12. How long has the house been on the market? In our current market, houses are getting snatched up quickly. As the market shifts, time on the market will lengthen, but that doesn’t necessarily mean a home isn’t worth buying.
  13. How do I put my best offer forward to increase my chances of getting my offer accepted? An experienced Realtor® will know your market and be skilled at negotiating, so she can guide you.
  14. How long will it take from the offer acceptance to the closing date on the home?
  15. How do I handle a contingency when my offer depends on my being able to sell my current home?

The biggest question perhaps is “where do I start?” We suggest choosing a Realtor® (get referrals from friends and family and interview a few) to start the conversation. They can help you examine your current situation to see if this is the right time for you to buy a home, or if you need to develop a plan to shore up your credit and finances to better position yourself.

Marti Reeder, Realtor, Managing Broker