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Northwest Houston Common Real Estate Questions

Michele Harmon Team has 58 years of combined Real Estate experience, and we respond to questions daily. Working with an experienced and trusted Real Estate team is key to a successful Real Estate transaction,and it is our job to guide you through the home buying and selling processes. Whether you are a first time buyer, selling your first home, or a repeat buyer who could use a reminder about how the process works, Michele Harmon Team has answers to the questions that tend to come up most often! 

What is the first step of the home buying process?

The first step of the home buying process is obtaining a pre-approval letter, or providing proof of funds! If you will be securing a loan, a strong pre-approval letter can be the difference in your offer getting accepted or looked over. If you are a cash buyer, you will need to provide proof of funds in the form of a recent asset statement, or letter from your financial institution. Either of these will be required when making an offer.

How long does it take to buy a home in Texas?

Once you complete the first step of the home buying process, the time period for how long it will take you to buy a home can vary. For the most part, it will depend on how much time you spend shopping for your dream home. Typically, it will take 35-45 days when financing. Meanwhile, home buyers who pay cash are often able to purchase properties much faster.

What is a seller’s market?

A seller’s market occurs when housing demand exceeds supply. In other words, there are many home buyers, but Real Estate inventory is low. When there is a low supply of inventory, sellers are given advantage because homes typically sell fast, and buyers are competing with each other in order to win the property.

What is a buyer’s market?

A buyer’s market refers to a situation in which there is a surplus of homes for sale, and a shortage of buyer demand. A buyer’s market places home buyers in positions of power when it comes to home selection and negotiations. Home sellers are often required to compete to secure a sale. During a buyer’s market, home prices are likely to fall, and houses typically remain on the market for longer time periods.

What is a stratified market?

A stratified market refers to a city or town that cannot be categorized as JUST a buyer’s market or seller’s market. This type of market can show differing levels of supply and demand based on price range.

Example: A particularly large amount of buyers begin purchasing million dollar homes, creating a seller’s market. Meanwhile, homes under $500,000 are experiencing sluggish sales, creating a buyer’s market. This would be classified as a stratified market because a seller’s market and a buyer’s market are occurring simultaneously.

How much does it cost to hire an Agent to help me buy a house?

The Buyer’s Agents’ commission is paid by the seller. Once you have closed on the home, this listing broker pays the Buyer’s Agent. 

What kind of credit score do I need to buy a home?

There is no specific credit score that will automatically qualify you for a mortgage. If you are paying cash, your credit score will not matter. If you are financing, the credit score needed to qualify you to purchase a home will depend on the type of mortgage you are seeking. If you opt for a Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loan, you may be able to get approved with a credit score as low as 500.

How much money do I need for a down payment?

The amount needed to put down on a house will depend on which mortgage loan program you select. Your minimum required down payment can range anywhere from 0-20%. You can make the minimum down payment, or you can choose to put more down in order to reduce your loan amount and monthly payments.

Should I sell my current home before buying a new one?

Every situation is different! Michele Harmon Team will gladly sit down with you, go through your options, and advise you every step of the way! 

How many homes should I view before buying one?

The answer to this question is entirely up to you! Your goal is to purchase a home you LOVE at a price you can afford. Regardless of whether you look at three homes, or a hundred homes, when you know, you know, and Michele Harmon Team will go above and beyond to help you secure and negotiate the home of your dreams! 

What is earnest money?

Earnest money is an amount agreed to in a Real Estate contract that you will pay soon after entering into a contract as a show of “good faith” that you intend to purchase the property. If the deal closes, the earnest money is typically credited toward your down payment and other costs of buying the home.

Earnest money helps you through a competitive bidding war. Sellers often favor these good faith deposits because they want to ensure the sale will not fall through. Click here for more details about earnest money and how it differs from a down payment.

What if my offer is rejected?

Oftentimes, when a seller rejects your offer, they will come back with a counteroffer to potentially negotiate a deal that will work better for them. However, if your offer is rejected without a counter, this may mean that your offer was too low to be considered by the seller. Michele Harmon Team will follow up with the seller’s agent to inquire about a counteroffer or what reasoning the seller may have had to reject your initial offer without a counter.

Should I get a home inspection?

YES! A home inspection will assess the condition of the home you plan to purchase, and it can help you avoid costly surprises down the road. Although an inspection may not be required, they are highly recommended because they can reveal defects in the home that are not easily detected. Click here to learn more about why home inspections matter.

Do I need to do a final walk-through?

YES! Although it is not required, it is highly recommended. A home purchase is one of life’s biggest investments. The final walk-through is your final chance to see the property before you close, and you will want to make sure nothing has changed since your first visit. If you requested repairs as part of your offer, the final walk-through will ensure everything is squared-away, as expected, per terms of the contract. 

How much are seller closing costs?

Seller closing costs are estimated at 7.5%. This includes all Broker commissions and fees.

I am a seller and I have a current survey of my home, can I use it?

Yes! You simply will need to get a T-47 signed and notarized.

What if I can’t show my house the time the buyer is requesting?

Please make every possible effort to show the house but if you cannot, then ask Showing Smart to reschedule with the Buyer’s Agent.

After I fill out my seller paperwork, who do I call?

Call Michele Harmon Team’s Listing Manager, Katie at 713-855-3294.

How long does it typically take to close once a contract has been accepted?

On average, it will take 30-45 days to reach closing day!

What if my house needs some work before listing?

This is what your listing appointment and stager are for! Michele Harmon Team will go through all things that need to be done at this appointment and make the process as easy on you as possible.

How long does it take to list my home?

When you work with Michele Harmon Team, once you sign all the required documents, we can have photos scheduled in a few days, and go live in just a few days after that! We can move as quickly or as slowly as you prefer.

Looking to buy or sell? Call Michele Harmon Team, Northwest Houston area specialists at 713-818-1330 today! Our team consists of multiple licensed, and experienced Realtors who will guide you every step of the way with amazing communication, care, and detail. Customer service is our number one priority and we go above and beyond to make sure you are happy with our team. Do not hesitate to reach out to our team at any time with any questions or concerns. It is our main priority to make sure we have the smoothest transaction possible and get us all to closing! We look forward to working with you and helping you close. 

Top 1% of Houston Area Realtors | RE/MAX Top 20 Teams in Texas | 340+ Five Star Zillow Reviews

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