FAQs

What is the difference between "pre-qualified" and "pre-approved"?

If you are "pre-qualified" you have determined, with a loan officer, what price you can afford based on the down payment, your debts and the amount the mortgage company will approve for your mortgage. Being "pre-qualified" is only a determination of your probable credit. If you are "pre-approved", your credit, employment and funds have been approved by the lender.

What are closing costs?

Closing costs are an accumulation of charges paid to different entities associated with the buying and selling of real estate. For buyers, they are usually about 4-6% of the total sales price of a property. Some of the closing costs you might encounter are: application fees, appraisal fee, county taxes, credit report, discount points, documentation fee, escrow fees, homeowners' association fees, loan fees, mortgage insurance, origination fees, tax registration and title insurance premium.

What is a point?

One point is equal to 1% of the new loan amount. Whenever government regulation, state usury laws and/or competitive practices prohibit the lender from charging a rate of interest that would make the real estate loan competitive with other fields of investments, the lender must seek some method of increasing the yield for the investors. By charging "points", the lender can bring the real estate loan up to those other investments.

What is earnest money?

When you make an offer, you will need to put up an earnest money deposit as a sign of good faith that you are seriously interested in buying a home. That deposit becomes a part of the purchase price and is held in a trust account until there is full acceptance of the offer. Typically, an earnest money is 3-5% of the offer amount.

What is title insurance?

Title insurance protects the named insured against loss because of defects, liens, encumbrances, adverse claims or other matters not shown or disclosed to the new owner that attach before date of policy.

Is VA or FHA financing unfair to sellers?

FHA and VA loans provide purchasers the opportunity to buy homes with minimal cash investment and at lower interest rates. The result is a larger market for sellers, who also benefit by receiving all cash for their equity.

What is a wood-destroying organism inspection report?

A wood-destroying organism inspection report is a written opinion by a qualified state licensed structural pest control inspector based upon what was visible and evident at the time of inspection. The inspection report does not in any way represent or guarantee the structure to be free from wood-destroying organisms or their damage, nor does it represent or guarantee that the total damage or infestation is limited to that disclosed in the report. Wood-destroying organisms include subterranean termites, dampwood termites, carpenter ants, wood boring beetles and wood decay fungus.

What are the hazards of lead-based paint?

All buyers and sellers are required by law to receive and read a pamphlet outlining the hazards of lead-based paint for homes built before 1978. Be sure to ask your real estate agent for a copy

What should a home inspection include?

Every inspection should include, but not be limited to, an evaluation of the following:

  • Foundations
  • Roof
  • Heating and Air Conditioning
  • Ventilation
  • Common Areas (for condominiums)
  • Spetic Tanks, wells or sewer lines *
  • Insulation
  • Plumbing and Electrical systems
  • Ceiling, walls and floors
  • Doors
  • Hazardous materials concerns*

* There may be an additional fee for this

What property details are usually included by Listing Services?

Usually, properties listed will include the following details:

  • Location
  • Photograph
  • Price
  • Utilities
  • Amenities
  • Annual property tax
  • Current financing (when assumable)
  • Listing company

What pages are generally included in the Purchase and Sales Agreement?

  • Agency Disclosure
  • Financing Addendum/Clause
  • Inspection/Clause
  • Conditions/Disclosures Addendum
  • Contingency
  • Addendum Outlining Special Conditions
  • Lead-Base Paint Notification
  • Property Disclosure Form (completed by Sellers)

What is the difference between a REALTOR & Real Estate Agent?

REALTOR identifies real estate professionals who are members of the National Association of REALTORS and subscribe to its strict Code of Ethics. Not every real estate agent is a REALTOR. A REALTOR may be an appraiser, property manager or involved in some other aspect of the real estate business.