Buying a new home is exciting and confusing. There are a lot of steps to
buying a home, and people have questions. These are the most common
questions home buyers have and the answers.
1. How do I get started? – The first step is to speak with a lender and
get a pre-approval. This will tell you, and potential sellers, how much you
2. How long does it take to close on a home? – Typically, it takes
about 30-45 days once contracts are signed to complete the lending,
appraisal, and inspection processes; however, this can be shortened or
extended depending upon the needs of the buyer and seller.
3. What does my agent do? – A buyer’s agent will negotiate terms and
manage the closing process from start to finish.
4. How much do I pay for a buyer’s agent? – In most instances...nothing. In
California, it is customary for the seller to pay the commission fees for both
5. What credit score do I need to qualify? – A 620 FICO score or
higher is required for most home loan programs; however, if you have a
lower FICO score, it is important to talk to a lender as they can help
guide you on other options or provide counseling to improve your credit
6. How much money do I need for a down payment? – It varies. FHA
loans start as low as 3.5, VA loans do not require a down payment, and some
conventional loans require as little as 3%.
7. What other fees will I need to pay? – Closing costs and loan
origination fees will add another 2-3% to the costs.
8. What if I change my mind? – Your agent will work with you to build
in contingencies for condition, loan terms/approval, and other protections to
allow you time to evaluate the home during escrow.
9. When do I get the keys? – Unless you’ve negotiated extra time for the sellers to move, you’ll get the keys at the closing.
10.What’s the best advice for home buyers? – Trust the experts and ask lots of questions. Buying a new home is exciting. Reduce any anxiety by finding a good buyer’s agent who can help you make the best choice for your needs.