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Some of your Questions and Answers:

1. What the first step of the home buying process?
Getting pre-approved for a mortgage is the first step of the home buying process. Getting a pre-approval letter from a lender get the ball rolling in the right direction.
How long does it take to buy a home?
From start (searching online) to finish (closing escrow), buying a home takes about 10 to 12 weeks. Once a home is selected an the offer is accepted, the average time to complete the escrow period on a home is 30 to 45 days (under normal market conditions). Though, well-prepared home buyers who pay cash have been known to purchase properties faster than that.
What is a buyer’s market?
A buyer’s market is characterized by declining home prices and reduced demand. Several factors may affect long-term and short-term buyer demand, like: Economic disruption - a big employer shuts down operations, laying off their workforce.
What is a stratified market?
A stratified market happens where supply and demand characteristics differ by price point, in the same area (typically by city). For example, home sales for properties above $1.5M may be brisk (seller’s market) while homes under $750k may be sluggish (buyer’s market). This scenario comes along every so often in West Coast cities where international investors - looking to park their money in the United States - buy expensive real estate. At the same time, home sales activity in mid-priced homes could be entirely different..
How much do I have to pay an agent to help me buy a house?
Home shoppers pay little or no fees to an agent to buy a home. Here’s why: For most home sales, there are two real estate agents involved in the deal: one that represents the seller and another who represents the buyer. Listing brokers represent sellers and charge a fee to represent them and market the property. Marketing may include advertising expenses such as radio spots, print ads, television and internet ads. The property will also be placed in the local multiple listing service (MLS), where other agents in the area (and nationally) will be able to search and find the home for sale. Agents who represent buyers (a.k.a. buyer’s agent) are compensated by the listing broker for bringing home buyers to the table. When the home is sold, the listing broker splits the listing fee with the buyer’s agent. Thus, buyers don’t pay their agents.
How many homes should I view before buying one?
That’s up to you! For sure, home shopping today is easier today than ever before. The ability to search for homes online and see pictures, even before setting a foot outside the comfort of your living room, has completely changed the home buying game. Convenience is at an all-time high. But, nothing beats visiting a home to see how it looks and ‘feels’ in person..
How long can the seller take to respond to my offer?
Written offers should stipulate the timeframe in which the seller should respond. Giving them twenty-four hours should be sufficient.