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Frequently Asked Questions:


What are some questions I should ask a perspective agent?

1. How familiar are you with the area I am looking in?

2. Do you represent the buyer or the seller?

3. What are your fees and who pays them?

4. How much time will you have to help me look for a new home? What tasks will you perform for me as my representative?

5. How often will you communicate with me, and how can I reach you?

6. Will you refer me to some buyers you have recently represented?

7. Do you have access to the area multiple listing system?

8. Will you show me all the available houses in my price range, even if they are listed by another company?

9. Will you give me a comparative market analysis for any homes I am considering?

I have heard about "agency". Who does a real estate agent really work for?

Seller's Agency
A seller's agent, under a listing agreement with the seller, acts solely on behalf of the seller. A seller can authorize a seller's agent to work with subagents, buyer's agents and/or transaction co-ordinators. Seller's agents and their subagents will disclose to the seller known information about the buyer which may be used to the benefit of the seller.

Buyer's Agency
A buyer's agent, under a buyer's agency agreement with the buyer, acts solely on behalf of the buyer. Buyer's agents and their subagents will disclose to the buyer known information about the seller which may be used to benefit the buyer

Dual Agents
A real estate licensee can be the agent of both the seller and the buyer in a transaction, but only with the knowledge and informed consent, in writing, of both the seller and the buyer. In such a dual agency situation, the licensee will not be able to disclose all known information to either the seller or the buyer. The licensee will not be able to provide the full range of fiduciary duties to the seller or the buyer. The obligations of the dual agent are subject to any specific provisions set forth in any agreement between the dual agent, the seller and the buyer.

Should I ask for a home inspection before I buy?
When buying a home, leave yourself the option to get a second opinion. Consider putting a contigency clause in your offer that allows you to get a home inspection and cancel the sale if the results of the inspection are unsatisfactory. If there are serious problems, a home inspections can prevent serious hassles.

Who pays for the inspection?
The buyer pays for the inspection, which can cost several hundred dollars.

Who should attend the inspection?
You. You'll learn alot about the house that could soon be your home.

What happens if the inspection uncovers problems?
If you put an inspection clause in the contract, you may back out of the deal if serious defects are found. What happens more frequently is the buyer will negotiate with the seller to have the problem repaired or the sales price adjusted to cover the expense.

What are some typical closing costs?

Loan Origination Fee: usually 1% of the loan.
Loan Discount Points: a form of accelerated interest; each point is 1% of the loan amount.
Appraisal Fee: The charge for a professional appraiser to certify the value of the home.
Credit Report: The cost of getting a credit history from the credit services.
Tax Service Fee & Document Preparation Fee: Charges to set up tax escrow account & prepare documents.
Title Company Fees: The settlement agent's charges for processing the closing.
Recording Fees, Tax Stamps: local charges to officially record the deed and mortgage, and transfer taxes.
Survey: The charge to verify the boundaries of the property being purchased.