FAQ from First-time Home Buyers

For our first time home buyers- here are a few of the most commonly asked questions I seem to get.

1-Who pays the real estate agent?
The person who is listing the home for sale (known as the listing agent) represents the seller and is paid a certain percentage from the sellers. They choose to split that money with the buyer’s agent (the real estate agent who represents the buyer). In most states, it’s illegal for a Realtor to be both the listing and buyer’s agent. It is still legal in some cases in Utah, but I personally choose to not represent both parties, so that I can fight better for my client’s interests.

Long story short- if you are buying a home, you don’t actually pay for your own Realtor! Their fees are paid by the seller through the sale of the house.

2-What do down payments look like?
As a first time buyer, there are many loan options that require no money down. Some have higher fees and closing costs, some require the house to be in a certain condition, and others require the home to be in a specific zip code. Depending on where and what you are looking for, you may not need a down payment at all. If you do end up paying a down payment, most first time buyers pay only 3-5% for their down payment.

3- Should I have a home inspection?
YES! A thousand times, yes! Even when building a brand new home, you always want a third party there who can inspect and make sure that everything is completely up to code and that you know what you are getting when you purchase the home with no nasty surprises.

4-What is earnest money?
Earnest money is money that goes towards the down payment or closing costs of the home that you pay up front-usually a few days after signing the contract to begin the home buying process. You can sometimes lose this money entirely if you walk away from the sale of the house.

Are you a first time buyer that has a question that’s not listed here? Feel free to shoot me a message via email or text, and I’ll be happy to help you out!

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