10 Most Common Home Buyer Questions (And Answers!!)

Dated: October 24 2022

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10 Most Common Home Buyer Questions

Buying a new home is such an exciting (but also confusing!!) time. There are a lot of steps to buying a home so it is understandable that people have questions, especially first time buyers. These are the most common questions I encounter from home buyers and their 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 can afford. A word to the wise is to ask for a pre-approval instead of a generic pre-qualification. A pre-approval might take a little bit longer because it entails the lender verifiying all your financials but it is a better meaure of your ability to secure financing. 

(Need a recommendation on reputable lenders that can deliver? Ask me today!). 

2. How long does it take to close on a home?

– Typically, it takes about 45 days once contracts are signed to complete the lending, appraisal, and inspection processes. Cash deals typically close in around 20-30 days depending on whether the buyer elects inspections or not. 

3. What does my agent do?

A good buyer’s agent will:

- Provide recommendations for lender, inspectors, contractors, movers, cleaners, etc.  

- Provide a buyers consultation to help you better understand the buying process & answer any questions before you get started 

- Search for and recommend properties based on your search criteria 

- Show you homes and provide information about them 

- Write offers and manage all paperwork 

- Help negotiate for repairs, credits, and price deductions when necessary

- Manage the timeline and closing process 

4. How much do I pay for a buyer’s agent?

– Typically, the buyer's agent is paid their commission by the seller and the buyer owes nothing to their agent.

In rare cases, the seller pay refuse to pay this, at that time a fee may be required of the buyer and ranges in cost. Always ask your agent! 

5. What credit score do I need to qualify?

– A 620 FICO score or higher is required for most home loan programs. Talk to a lender for other options for lower scores.

6. How much money do I need for a down payment?

– This various based on which loan program you chose.

FHA loans start as low as 3.5% down payment. 

Conventioanl loans start as low as 3%. 

VA and USDA loans can have 0%. 

7. What other fees will I need to pay?

– On top of the downpayment you will also need money saved for your closing costs. Closing costs and loan origination fees will add another 2-4% to the costs. These expenses vary based on the property taxes, inspections you choose, and other variables. 

Bonus Info: If you find yourself in a position where you feel ready to buy but don't have quiet enough saved, there are loan programs that allow you to roll part or all of your closing costs into the cost of the loan! 

8. What if I change my mind?

– Your agent will work with you to build in contingencies for inspections, loan terms/approval, and other protections to allow you time to evaluate the home during escrow. Typically speaking, the sales agreement is built to protect the buyer and if you do change your mind there are often ways to get out of the agreement. 

With that being said, if you change your mind right before closing when all contingencies have already been met you risk losing your deposit money in order to terminate the agreement. 

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. 

XO Jenna 

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Jenna Kondrosky

Hello there and congratulations on starting the journey to your homeownership goals! The first big decision is choosing the right agent.My name is Jenna Kondorsky and I am a real estate agent on Team ....

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