Chicago Home Buyer Frequently Asked Questions

Buying a home can be an incredibly emotional and often stressful process, whether you’re buying for the first or fifth time.  To avoid becoming overwhelmed, it’s all about becoming educated about the steps of the process.

No question is too small when it comes to purchasing a home.  After all, it’s a major investment! So, don’t be afraid to speak up.  If you’re not even sure which questions you should be asking, we’re going to take a look at some of the most frequently asked questions we encounter from home buyers.  These will help get the ball rolling when putting together your own list of questions:

  • Should I talk to a bank before exploring the market?  Yes.  You should absolutely talk with a bank, and get pre-approved before you even start your home search.  This will help you get a clear picture on what exactly you can afford to buy and what sort of loans you qualify for.  For instance, if you can only afford up to $150,000, there’s no point in looking at homes that are listed above that price.  You’ll also get a better understanding of the costs that are associated with buying a home as well as the terminology (e.g. down payment, mortgage loan, escrow, etc.).    
  • Should I buy before selling my current home?  If you already own a home, there’s no correct answer to this question, as each person’s situation and needs are unique.  There are pros and cons to buying a new home before selling your current one, and vice versa. If you buy a home before selling, you have the peace of mind in knowing that you have a reliable home to move into.  Of course, the time to takes to sell a home is unpredictable.  So, if you choose to sell before you buy, you could end up with a period of time where you might not have a reliable place to live.  But, again, each home buyers experience will be different, and there are many options either way.
  • How many homes should I look at before making an offer?  This is another question where there is no right answer, as it’s really about how comfortable and excited you feel with what you find.  Some people find their dream home on the first try, others look at dozens before they find one they’d even consider. It just depends on your individual wants, needs, and timeline, as well as what’s available on the market.    
  • Do I really need a Realtor®?  When buying a home, we strongly recommend working with a trusted Realtor®.  They represent your best interest and can smoothly guide you through the entire process.  But, do keep in mind that not all buyers’ agents are the same. You’ll want to do your due diligence when researching and interviewing.    
  • Who pays the Realtor® fees?  This question often leads to some stress for home buyers when considering working with a Realtor® simply because of the added cost.  While there are never any guarantees, in most cases you can rest assured that the seller will cover the Realtor® fees.

The home buying process begins long before you ever actually look at the first property.  Home buyers who are prepared and well-educated will ultimately thrive when entering the market.  They are the ones that ask questions and seek answers at every turn. So, go into it with an open but focused mind, stay organized, and don’t be afraid to seek help from a qualified professional.

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