Frequently Asked Questions
Why should I use a real estate agent?
If you’re a buyer, you’re going to want someone with some market expertise guiding you through the process. You’re also going to want someone who is negotiating on your behalf – someone with the skills and knowledge to get you the best price and submit the best offer. Realtors have a fiduciary duty to their clients – that means they act in their interest and their interest alone. Plus, as a buyer, working with an agent is free – so why the heck wouldn’t you?
If you’re a seller, you want someone to do what you may not have the expertise, technology, or time to do – accurate pricing, social media marketing, neighborhood canvassing, staging, video tours, high quality photography, and more. You’re also going to want someone who can directly reach buyer’s agents through the MLS (the majority of buyers are represented by an agent).
What do you charge?
The fee for listing a house with me is 6% of the ultimate purchase price of the home. This might sound like a lot, but remember that studies show that sellers typically get far more money for their homes when they list with an agent – so much more that it usually covers the cost.
Additionally, I choose to donate a percentage of my take-home commission to work in the community I am passionate about.
What about discount agents? Why shouldn’t I just list with them?
There are plenty of discount agents around the city. Your choice of agent is a personal decision, but remember that like any industry, you get what you pay for. I charge the full 6% because I offer the full extent of marketing services, meaning I can get the highest price possible for your home.
What if I don’t have that much cash for a down payment?
There are options! Two of my favorites are the M&T First Home Club, which matches your savings to help you put together a down payment, and NACA, which doesn’t require any down payment at all.
Where do I get a mortgage loan?
There are lots of great options for getting a loan. Start with your bank or a local mortgage provider like HUNT Mortgage. You can also look into online services like Rocket Mortgage.
How important is my credit score?
Pretty important! If you’re in the 600s, you may be able to get an FHA mortgage. If you’re in the 700s, you can go with a conventional. (For more on the difference between FHA and conventional, check out this video).
What’s up with this market? Is the bubble going to burst?
We’re in a seller’s market because we have a shortage of inventory. The urban core and inner ring suburbs are becoming increasing popular among millennials, who are aging into the market. Meanwhile, their parents and grandparents are not selling, they’re staying. This is playing out all over the country – while interest rates rising may eventually temper the seller’s market, the lack of inventory will most likely remain a constant for years to come. That’s why I don’t see it as a bubble (for more, read this blog post and this WSJ article).
What are closing costs?
They’re the costs of closing that are not part of the purchase price – things like private mortgage insurance, transfer taxes, appraisal fee, etc. These costs are usually around 3-5 percent of the purchase price.