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Frequently Asked Questions
for Buying and Selling Homes in Portland, Oregon
When is the best time to sell my home?
This frequently asked question cannot be answered with a simple or general answer. Every real estate market is different, therefore, the best time to sell a home will be different from real estate community to real estate community. In most cases, the spring months are the best time to be selling a home. The spring months will vary from community to community. Learn about our 1% Express Listing!
Since every home sellers situation is different, you should discuss the timing of your home sale with your Realtor. In some cases, selling a home during the fall and winter months actually may be better than waiting until the spring real estate market. This is due to a combination of many factors including lower competition and that serious buyer’s are always looking for a home, just to mention a couple factors. Get you custom market report here!
What is earnest money?
When you make an offer on your agent will ask for a check to accompany it (checks are the same as cash, and the deposit is typically 1% to 2% of the purchase price). Earnest money is made in good faith to demonstrate – to the seller – that the buyer’s offer is genuine. Earnest money essentially takes the home off the market to anyone else and reserves it for you.
The check (or sometimes cash) is deposited in a trust or escrow account for safekeeping. If a deal is struck, the earnest money is applied to the down payment and closing costs. If the deal falls through, the money is returned to the buyer.
IMPORTANT: if the terms of a deal are agreed upon by both parties, but then the buyer backs out, the earnest money may not be returned to the buyer. Ask your agent about the ways to protect your earnest money deposit and the ways to protect it – such as offer contingencies.
How much do I need for a down payment?
The national average for down payments is 11%. But that figure includes first time and repeat buyers. Let’s take a closer look. Want to know what you are approved for?
While the broad down payment average is 11%, first time homebuyers usually only put down 3 to 5% on a home. That’s because several first-time home buyer programs don’t require big down payments. A longtime favorite, the FHA loan, requires 3.5% down. What’s more, some programs allow down payment contributions from family members in the form of a gift.
Some programs require even less. VA loans and USDA loans can be made with zero down. However, these programs are more restrictive. VA loans are only made to former or current military servicemembers. USDA loans are only available to low to-middle income buyers in USDA-eligible rural areas.
For many years, conventional loans required a 20% down payment. These types of loans were typically taken out by repeat buyers who could use equity from their existing home as a source of down payment funds. However, some newer conventional loan programs are available with 3% down if the borrower carries private mortgage insurance (PMI). Want us to find homes that fit your budget, click here!
Should I order a home inspection?
Yes! Home inspections are required if you plan on financing your home with an FHA or VA loan.
For other mortgage programs, inspections are not required. However, home inspections are highly recommended because they can reveal defects in the home that are not easily detected.
Home inspections bring peace of mind to one of the biggest investments of a lifetime. We even do them for new construction homes because we discover items every time that need fixed and the builder/seller will fix them before the keys are handed over to you!
Who pays the Realtor fees when buying a home?
One reason why buyers often question the need for having a Realtor when buying a home is because they don’t understand who actually pays the Realtor fees. Well, the Seller of the home is who pays those associated fees so the clients buying the home get all the Realtors hard work for free! Click here to get started today!
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Information on this website should not be construed as legal advice as we waive all legal liability from readers' reliance of any information provided. Readers must consult their own realtor or attorney about their own real estate issues.