Recently I had a potential client send me a series of questions. I thought they might be useful for anyone considering homes in Bozeman Montana, or anywhere in the country!
Responsibilities of a Realtor:
C: Can my agent help me find the best place to get a loan?
Your agent will have a team of professionals and can recommend someone for you, however, you can certainly select anyone of your choosing and should likely get quotes from more than one source!
C: Will my realtor help me with the house buying process from start to finish so I do not miss anything?
It is definitely our job to help you navigate through the process. Yes, we will do this.
C: What if I live out of town and can only make it in town for a day or two to look at houses. How can I narrow down which ones I want to look at before I get to town?
Have a list started with you agent before you get to town that meet your criteria, an MLS search, or your agents website can help in this. Spend the first day on a quick tour to help your agent get to know what you are looking for. Give plenty of feedback so they know what to show you on day 2. Let the agent select the listings to preview for day 2, then on day 3 take a second look at your favorites and make a decision!
C: I have had a ‘bad’ experience buying a house in the past. What do I need to look for in a realtor so I will not repeat the experience?
Ask friends and relatives for a referral. Check their references on places like Trulia and Zillow, as well as their website. Then select 2 or 3 and interview for an agent that suits your personality!
C: Can any realtor sell me a house that has been repo’ed or foreclosed on? How do I go about requesting a foreclosed house?
Banks are not in the habit of listing homes on their own. They list with an agent. You can request to see all foreclosed homes, but don’t rule out a standard sale. Sometimes they are better cared for and end up being a better buy. Just shop wisely, not by category.
Early on in the Process:
C: Do you recommend getting pre-approval prior to beginning the house hunting process?
I always recommend this. It makes for a stronger offer when you decide on a home, and lets you know what price range to shop in!
C: If I am pre-approved for 200K, what price range would you suggest I begin looking for a house in? Would you suggest looking for a house at my max limit or maybe a little less?
In our area, there is about a 5% negotiating range, stay within about $215,000 to expect to max out your loan potential, but, if you are uncomfortable here, shop in your comfort zone regardless of what you are preapproved for.
C: If this is the first time looking for a house (since I have had child/children) what priorities do you recommend I look for in a house?
Make sure you consider your families needs. Do you need extra family room space, bedrooms all on one level, do you have teenagers that you would like separation from the master suite? Do you use outdoor spaces or need a yard? These kinds of questions can help narrow down your choices.
C: Is it recommended that I have my insurance etc… wrapped into my loan or pay it separately?
This is not usually an option. Most loans will force you to set up an escrow account and pay it monthly to avoid liens and unpaid bills.
If you have additional questions, please don’t hesitate to comment here, I would be happy to answer them. And if you are in the market to begin looking at Bozeman Montana Real Estate, please call or email!