1. What homes can I afford? One of the first things you should do when starting your home buying search is to meet with a mortgage professional. This individual will ask you a lot of personal financial questions so that they can get a very clear picture into your current financial situation, as well as your goals when buying a home. How much of a mortgage you can afford and how much you want to pay can differ greatly. This individual will look at a variety of financial statements and help you to get pre-approved for a loan. It’s always a good idea to have a pre-approval loan letter at the ready when searching for a house. It will make any offer you put out there look strong and backed by the bank.


  1. How many homes should I look at as a baseline before I decide on the one I want? Many realtors suggest that once your home value range is determined and you get a feel for where you’d like your search to take place, you make a list of the homes you’re most interested in and take a look at them. After that initial search you and your realtor will get a better feel for exactly what you love and hate about each home. This will help to shape your next search. That being said, there are lucky individuals who find their dream home at the very beginning of their search. Others look at homes for years before making a decision. Realtor.com reports that, on average, buyers see at 10 homes before making an offer. However, it is completely up to you. Are you eager to buy or do you have time to look around?


  1. What is a fair offer? In most cases determining your offer price is not an exact science. Many factors come into play. What is the listing price? What is the condition of the home? How much are you willing to offer? To determine exactly what to offer and under which terms the offer is made, your realtor will look to reports, such as the Comparative Market Analysis (CMA), to provide you with educated guidance.


  1. Should I get a home inspection? When buying a home the buyer has the option to have several different types of inspections performed. In fact, they can make the purchase of the home contingent upon the results of these inspections. At the bare minimum, Town & Country Realty always recommends that you have a basic home inspection done by a license professional. As our area is well known for having radon problems, we will also often recommend that you have this checked as well. It’s always better to know what you’re getting. These reports also open the door for a cleaner negotiation moving forward.


  1. Who pays the realtor fees when buying a home? In most cases, the seller pays the realtor fees. Therefore, as a home buyer you have very little to lose and a lot to gain by working with a realtor as you search for the perfect home.