FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
I haven’t talked with a lender yet. Should I?
You should! Learning about the different loan programs that are out there, learning what you qualify for, and what you are comfortable with in terms of a monthly payment are all critical components in getting “buyer ready” and get you set up for a successful buying experience. I have some great local lenders I would be happy to refer you to who have a good reputation with the buyers I have worked with.
Should I get pre-qualified or pre-approved? What is the difference?
A pre-approval makes you a stronger buyer which means that in the case of a competitive buying situation, a seller is going to be more apt to take a pre-approved buyer more seriously than a pre-qualified buyer. In my experience, it is worth the extra effort to get pre-approved. Fewer surprises!
What type of information will you need from me?
To do the best job for you and to find you homes that fit your needs, I will need the best information you can provide. This would include such things as:
size of yard
preferred school districts
geographical areas / neighborhoods of interest
special needs / special interests which your home needs to accommodate
preferred price range
number of bedrooms / bathrooms
style of home (single-story, two-story, etc.)
Is now a good time to buy?
In my experience, when you need to buy is usually a good time to buy. Especially if you are selling and then buying, the market increases and decreases are usually proportionate. If you are selling a property whose value has risen 5% in the last year, you will likely buy a property whose value has also risen 5%. The same principle applies if the market has declined. Remember, although you want to buy low and sell high, if you are buying a home to live in, you can’t put a price tag on that enjoyment and security.
What if I am relocating and can only view properties every few weeks?
I will work with you on a viewing schedule and would be happy to be your “boots on the ground”, previewing properties that might fit your needs. I will work to get permission from the homeowners to video any properties that you are very excited about. I am well-versed in working with people out of the area.
I am looking for a property that I can also use to generate income.
Can you help me with this?
Certainly. Seattle and other areas have become progressive in terms of creative housing solutions in the last few years and are looking for innovative ways to create what is called housing density. There may very well be opportunities to create a separate living space – called an Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) in a pre-existing home or there may even be homes with ADUs on the market. There are a lot of options here. Let’s talk!
Can you provide information on properties listed with other companies?
Absolutely! In our area, most properties are sold with the help of the MLS (Northwest MLS to be exact). This means that I have detailed information on any home listed in that database at my fingertips.
What if I find a property on my own?
These days it is not unusual for buyers to receive information on a property almost as soon as it becomes available. Depending on the site you are using for search, this information may or may not be as accurate as what is available in the MLS, so my first step, after you send me the address or MLS number, is to verify the property in question does indeed meet your parameters. I can contact the listing agent and set up a time to tour with you if it does or send you additional information that is available to me as a broker.
Can I go to open houses on my own?
You can! In fact, together we can make a plan for what homes you want to tour privately with me and which are better candidates for visiting during an open house. However, when meeting the broker hosting the open house, I will provide you with information to provide to the broker so he or she can provide that additional detail and information back to us for review. In order to protect your strong negotiating position, I encourage you to share little about your situation and let the broker communicate with me as your advocate.
Keep in mind that a very specific set of criteria may narrow your list of potential properties, while a very broad list may lead to an overwhelming number of properties to view. Let’s start off with your dream list and then I can help you narrow down your options.
How will I learn about new available properties?
I will work with you to determine how often you want to receive updates on available homes, and what method you would prefer information to be sent to you.