Buying a Nashville Home: FAQ
Can you show a home for sale that is not listed with your company?
Yes! I can show you any home, no matter what company has it listed. I can also arrange a showing on a home that is for sale by owner.
Can we go to open houses without you?
Yes, please feel free to attend open houses, just be sure to give the agent my business card. If you run out of my cards, tell the agent my name and give them my number. If you sign an open house sheet, just put down my name and number out to the side. You do not have to give out your number or address.
How do you get paid?
Typically, the sellers pay a commission to my company and I in turn get a percentage. If for some reason the seller refuses to pay my fee, (perhaps a for sale by owner) you will be responsible.
How is an offer on a house determined?
This is based on several factors:
- The area: Is this home located in a high demand area?
- How long the home has been on the market (compared to the average for similar homes in that area)
- Whether or not you are asking for any seller assistance such as closing costs, allowances, extra appliances, or repair requests.
- Closing date: Typically, the sooner you can close, the more appealing your offer is to the seller.
- If the seller is unmotivated, these factors might be irrelevant. In this case, the decision will be yours – Do you like the house enough to pay what the seller is asking? The seller typically has two main priorities – How much money they will net and how quickly they can get that money.
Will there be negotiation?
Most likely – just as you want the best deal, so does the seller. The majority of the negotiation takes place on the front end with the offer. The home inspection is the second area where negotiation takes place.
What is a home warranty?
A home warranty can be purchased by you or you may ask for the seller to purchase it on your behalf. There are many different companies offering warranties for sale. The general coverage is similar and additional coverage may be purchased. If a problem occurs that is covered under the warranty, you call the company to report it and pay a deductible for the repair. The coverage lasts one year from the date of closing.
Do I need a home inspection before buying a home?
Absolutely! Even if the home appears to be in great shape, I recommend hiring a professional home inspector. They may find items that need addressing (sometimes up to 20 pages worth!). Be prepared – this can be a scary aspect of buying a home, but the home inspectors will inform you of everything they find wrong with the home. It would be great if you could meet at the latter part of the inspection to go over the report and ask questions.
What is earnest/trust money?
Earnest/trust money is a check written to the company that has the home listed for sale. Traditionally, the earnest/trust money is 1% of the purchase price. The check will be deposited into an escrow account once both parties have accepted the terms of the offer. The money goes toward the purchase of your home.
If we do not close on the home, do we lose our earnest/trust money?
Generally there are at least three contingencies in the contract – financing, home inspection, and appraisal. If the results of your home inspection cannot be remedied through seller made repairs or financial concessions, you may walk away with earnest/trust money in hand. If the appraised value of the home does not meet or exceed the purchase price and the seller refuses to reduce the price and you refuse to make up the difference, you may walk away with earnest/trust money in hand.
If the contingencies of the contract are removed and you change your mind about the house, expect to lose your earnest/trust money.
How do we remove our home inspection contingency?
A release of inspection contingency document will be signed by you either accepting the home in its present condition, asking for repairs to be done, or asking for financial concessions.
How does the home appraisal get done?
Your lender orders an appraisal to be done on the home. If the home appraisal amount does not equal or exceed the purchase price, negotiations take place or the contract can be voided.
Should we have the property surveyed?
A survey is a good idea. There are two types of surveys – a mortgage loan inspection survey and a boundary survey. A mortgage loan inspection is a document showing the property lines and how your home sits on the property. If for instance, your neighbors’ driveway is partially on your property or the seller built a fence over the property line, these encroachments would show up. A boundary survey is performed by a state licensed surveyor who physically marks the property lines with stakes or pins in the ground.
When do we close on our new home?
Generally, due to daily mortgage insurance, it is in your best interest to close on your home at the end of the month. There is flexibility here and it depends on the arrangement your lender has worked out for you, so be sure and check with your lender to calculate benefits.
What does 'closing on a home' mean?
Closing is when we meet at a real estate attorney’s office or a title company to exchange money for the deed to the property. You will know ahead of time how much money to bring to closing once I receive a copy of the HUD 1 (settlement statement), which shows the financial breakdown of the transaction. After review, either I or your lender will let you know this amount as soon as possible. You will typically receive your title commitment letter and the keys to your new home at closing. Necessary documents will have to be signed, including documents from your loan package.
What should I bring when closing on my new Nashville home?
You should bring your money, photo identification, and your social security card.
How long does the new home closing process take?
Generally, the actual process of closing on a new home takes about an hour. Be prepared, sometimes there are bumps. Loan packages can be late and closing can be delayed, but hang in there – you’re almost home!
When do we get our title to the property?
You should receive your title policy in the mail 4-6 weeks after closing. Do not leave closing without your title commitment letter. If you do not receive your title policy in the mail for any reason, call your closing attorney until you do!
What if we want to refer you?
That would be fantastic and I hope that you will! My business is based on referrals, so I welcome any friend, family member, or co-worker that you know who is considering buying or selling. You would be helping me and doing them a favor by giving me their name and number. I thank you in advance!