Frequently Asked Questions

How much home can I afford?

That depends, of course—on your income and other financial obligations.  It’s important to talk with a lender to find out exactly what you can afford.  And do it before you start shopping.  “It’s never fun to fall in love with a home only to find out you can’t afford it”.  Meet with a lender to get pre-approval for a home loan (added bonus: pre-approval makes you much more attractive to sellers).

Can I buy a home and sell my current one at the same time?

There really is no “correct” answer to this question.  There are pro’s and con’s to buying a home before selling your current home and the same can be said about selling your current home before buying another.

Purchasing a new home prior to selling your current home

The greatest benefit to purchasing a home prior to selling your current home is knowing you have a home to go to when your current home does sell.  This can be a great source of comfort as worrying about finding a home once your home sells can be very stressful.  However, this situation can also become stressful if the sale of your current home fails or doesn’t sell in a timely manner and you are forced to pay two mortgages.

In the event you do not qualify for the mortgages on both your current home and a new home,  you will have to make your purchase offer  contingent upon the sale of your current home.  If your current home does not sell in a timely manner, your offer could be “bumped” by a non-contingent buyer and you could lose the home you wish to purchase.

Selling your current home prior to purchasing a new home

There is no magic number when it comes to selling homes.  Some homes sell in 1 day while others take months.  It’s completely unpredictable.  With that said, if you are in a position to do so, selling your current home prior to purchasing a new one will put you in a stronger position, especially in a seller’s market, because you will not have to make your purchase offer contingent on the sale of your current home.

However, in our fast-paced, low-inventory market, if you sell your current home without having a new home under contract or purchased, you may not have a place to live.  One option is to try to negotiate a lease-back.  A lease-back, if agreed upon, would allow you to retain possession of your current home for a negotiated number of days for a negotiated amount (usually the buyer’s mortgage) allowing you additional time to find a new home.

How many homes should I see before making an offer?

As many as you need to!  Yes, it’s easy to see thousands of homes online.  But it’s difficult to choose your home from a photo.  And sometimes, it’s even tough to choose a home when you see it in person.  But, after working with hundreds of buyers, we believe folks just know “it” when they find “it”.  And, while it’s rare, some find their perfect home on the first time out, while others take years.  There’s nothing wrong with taking your time, learn the areas, look at homes and really find out what you like, need and want in your home, neighborhood and community.   If you’re not finding what you want, talk to your Realtor® and expand your search criteria.

What do you think the seller will accept as a fair price?

As a rule of thumb, knocking 5% off the list price shouldn’t offend anyone.  However, if it’s been sitting on the market for a while, you can offer a bit lower than that.  But, you really never know what the seller’s motivation is and if you feel comfortable with a reasonable offer, throw it out there.  If the sellers are eager to move, you could luck out and score a deal.

How do I know if the property is a good deal?

While Realtors® can’t see into the future, we do have tools to research home prices and can give pretty accurate values.  And one of those tools is the Comparative Market Analysis (CMA).  By using data such as similar home style and square footage this analysis will show you what similar properties have sold for in the area.  It will also show a pattern of prices going up or down in the recent past.

How quickly can I close?

Typical escrow is 30-45 days.  This gives the buyer enough time to have inspections and complete the loan.

Should I get a home inspection?

This is probably the number 1 most asked question.  And we ALWAYS say YES!  An experienced and certified home inspector will relieve a lot of stress by doing a home inspection on your new home, ensuring you don’t end up with a money pit.  He will inspect the condition of the roof, electricity, HVAC, plumbing, appliances, and much more, walk through the home to discuss his findings and send you a full report with photos and explanations.  If the inspector finds issues with the home, you and your Realtor® can review the report and negotiate with the seller to make repairs.

When can I back out if I change my mind?

A buyer can always back out of a deal.  However, doing so without good reason or contingencies in place, may cost them their earnest money.  Some of those contingencies are Due Diligence, Subject to Appraisal and Financing.

How much needs to be done to my house before putting it on the market?

A lot of people believe their homes have to be perfect before hitting the market and they end up spending tons of money, time and stress trying to get it there when the reality is there’s really not that much to be done.  Before you hire the painter, the new flooring and the landscaper, call a Realtor® to look at your home and give you a few tips.  You might be surprised.

How much is my house worth?

While the median home price in 2017 was 329k in Utah, the exact price of your own home will depend on its size, neighborhood, and lots of other factors.  Further complicating matters is your own skewed perspective: Instead, look at the prices of similarly sized homes that have recently sold in your area—data that agents call comparative market analysis, or comparables. Then, price your place strategically. “If you price too high, the home is likely to linger on the market,” Meanwhile, pricing low can have major upsides, resulting in multiple bids that could ultimately jack up your price.  So, do your homework. Then, discuss a number with your Realtor® that feels right—and is realistic.

How long will it take to sell my home?

The average days on market in Utah is 15.  However, there is no magic number when it comes to selling homes.  Some homes sell in 1 day while others take months.  It’s completely unpredictable and can vary greatly due to area and sales price.  With that said, it’s imperative you and your Realtor® price your home competitively and have a market plan that gets your home in front of as many buyers as possible, including social media, open houses, word of mouth, networking events and any other outlets to maximize exposure.  You never know where a buyer will come from.

Is staging really important?

On average, a staged home sells 88% faster—and for 20% more money—than an empty one.  The reason it works is it gives buyers an idea of themselves living in your home.  Choose neutral paint colors and minimize clutter so buyers can imagine their belongings on the walls and in the home.  Make sure you’re not home when the buyers are there looking at your home.  This only makes the situation awkward and feel as though they can’t make comments to one another or ask their Realtor® questions.   Sellers are often emotionally attached to their homes and tend to argue or get defensive over comments or questions and can turn away or lose potential offers.

What is the Realtor’s® commission?

While the commission amount can vary, it is typically 6% of the home’s sale’s price, and is usually split between the buyer’s agent and listing agent.  But what’s implied by this question is “What are Realtors® doing to earn that fat check?”  Here are some facts to keep in mind: Unlike lawyers who get paid by the hour, or doctors who are paid by the appointment, listing agents don’t get paid unless they make a sale.  For every hour an agent spends with a client, he or she will typically spend nine hours on average working on that client’s behalf doing everything from networking to finding potential buyers to filling out paperwork.  And no, not all agents are created equal.  Since most contracts last for a year, we recommends that you interview three Realtors® prior to selecting one to represent you.  It’s no different from choosing an attorney, accountant, or the doctor who will deliver your baby.  You want to be sure that you trust that person and are comfortable with them.”