Buyer FAQs

What do I do first when I want to purchase a home?

Call your Blackshear Realty Agent and they will set you up with a local lender for a pre-approval letter for your home loan.

Does it cost me anything to have a Realtor?  How does a Realtor get paid?

According to the Texas Real Estate Commission, home buyers in Texas have a right to Buyer’s Representation. Buyers in Texas get free representation from a Realtor, and your Realtor will protect your best interests before, during, and after your transaction.  The seller pays a commission to the listing broker, and this commission is split with the Realtor who brings the buyer for the seller’s property. 

When a Realtor sells a new construction home, they are paid by the homebuilder, and the buyer does not pay the Realtor a fee.

Why is it a good idea to get pre-approved before I start looking for a home?

When you find the perfect home at any given time, you want to be in the best position to make a strong offer to purchase it over another buyer.  Also, most sellers will not accept an offer without seeing a pre-approval letter first. 

Knowing your price range and the monthly payment that goes with it will help us narrow down a list of homes to look at.  This will allow you to be confident with your sales price when making an offer for the house. 

Are there any special loan programs for first time homebuyers?

Yes!  There are many programs available at different times with the lenders.  The program you may qualify for usually depends on your income and the location of the property.

How much money will I need for a down payment?

It depends on which loan program you choose with your lender.  There are loans with $0 down payment with the USDA and VA programs.  The FHA program offers a loan with 3.5% down payment, and a conventional loan usually requires 5% of the sales price as a down payment.

This is another reason to get your preapproval early in the home buying process.  Your lender will let you know what loan programs are available to you and which one that could save you the most money over the life of your loan. 

What are my closing costs?

Buyer closing costs include three main fees.

1.  Lender fees charged for processing the loan.

2.  Prepaid taxes and insurance to set up your escrow account.

3.  The title company fees for document preparation.

These amounts generally total up to an average of 3 ½ percent of the sales price of the home.

How much money will I need to bring to closing?

The total amount to close includes the 3 ½ percent closing costs plus the down payment for your loan program.  Your agent will be able to help offset some of these fees with the negotiations in your contract.  Ask your agent about seller contribution to finance in some of your closing costs.

What is seller contribution?

Some buyers may not have enough cash out of pocket to cover their down payment and closing costs, so we raise the sales price in the contract and “roll in” their closing costs.  A buyer can finance some of the closing costs by adding the amount as seller contribution in the contract.  This amount is credited to the buyer for use towards the appraisal and lender fees.  Many of our buyers finance some of their closings costs this way.  Your agent will make sure that you are comfortable with the sales price and amount needed for closing, and carefully go over any seller contribution added into the offer for your home.

Will I lose my earnest money if I write a contract and do not buy the house?

It is the agent’s job to protect your earnest money, and there are several timelines in the contract that will allow you to terminate the contract and get your earnest money back.  As long as we follow the timelines listed in the contract, you will not lose your earnest money.

What is an executed contract?

When the buyer and seller have both agreed to all terms and conditions of an offer, and the offer has been signed and delivered to both parties, the contract is then called an executed contract.  All timelines listed in the contract begin the day after the contract is executed.

What is an option period?

An option period gives a buyer the option to terminate the contract for any reason without losing their earnest money during that time (usually 7-10 days after the contract is executed).  The buyer will pay a non-refundable fee (usually $100-$200) to the seller and will perform their inspections on the home during this time.  Any repair negotiations must be completed during the option period as well.

How long will it take to close on my house?

It usually takes 45 days to close on your home from the time we execute a contract.

How do I know that I am the only buyer and no one else can buy the home that I put an offer on?

Once you have an executed contract of the home, no other buyer can buy it unless you terminate your contract. 

What do I bring to closing?

Everyone signing documents at closing will need their driver’s license and a pen!  If you are bringing money to closing, it must be in the form of a Cashier’s Check.

Who pays for a survey?

The survey can be purchased by either the seller or the buyer, and is a negotiable cost in the transaction.  If a seller has a pre-existing survey of their home, the lender may be able to use it instead of ordering a new one to be completed.