Town & Mountain Realty

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Buyer Frequently Asked Questions

Q: I want to buy a home, how do I get started?


There are two people you need to speak to, one is a real estate agent and maybe before that a lender to determine how much you can afford and how much you would like to spend. This will give you an idea what your monthly mortgage payment will be, this is important information to know. Your real estate agent will represent you and help you find the right home that fits within your budget and to see that the transaction happens smoothly.



What price home can I afford?


Discussing your personal, confidential financial information with a qualified mortgage lender is your first step. Based on your income, credit history, income/debt ratio and how much you want to spend monthly for mortgage payments, your lender will help you decide what price homes you should be looking at.


Do I really need a real estate agent?


Of course you do. Your real estate agent will represent you; will keep your best interest in mind. According to the Real Estate Commissions' rules, your buyer's agent is required to work for you to help you find the right home and guide you all the way through to the closing table. One of our brokers would be happy to sit down with you to discuss how their expertise in the Asheville and Western NC real estate market will help you find the home of your dreams. We take pride in representing our clients, making sure that their best interest always comes first. Most often a buyer's agent will not receive compensation from a home buyer but rather from the home seller.


How do I know which neighborhoods are the best for me?


Your real estate agent should be knowledgable about what Asheville and its surrounding neighborhoods have to offer. Just as there are neighborhoods that are known for very expensive luxury homes, there are neighborhoods with modest homes at modest prices. It is important that you understand that all real estate agents are bound by federal laws regarding answering questions about race, color, religion, sex, handicapped or familiar status or national origin.

The best way to prepare to own your first home is to educate yourself about the home buying process. You can take a class or pick up books from the library. Also, read the real estate sections of your newspaper and consumer magazines.

Here are some things you will want to do:

Ask lots of questions
Learn what questions to ask and where to ask them. Your list of questions when you are interviewing real estate agents will be different than those you ask when shopping for a lender.

Prioritize your criteria
Determine what you want and need in a new house and prioritize your list.

Study a variety of mortgage choices
Investigate the available loan options and decide which is best for you. You may want to interview several lenders to learn about the many mortgage products available.

Get pre-approved before you house shop
Get pre-approved for a loan before you start looking for a home so you know how much you can afford to pay. Once you are actively house hunting, lock in your interest rate - if it's a good one. This will speed up the closing process.

Work with your agent
Work with your agent on a purchase offer when you decide on a home. You should ask your agent for a market analysis to find out what similar homes are currently selling for in your chosen area. You and your agent should tailor the sales contract to suit your needs. For example, you can make the sale contingent on a favorable home inspection report.


What is earnest money?

Earnest money is a deposit Buyers make when they sign a contract to buy a house. Although not required, it signifies the seriousness and intention of the Buyer to complete the purchase. At closing, the earnest money becomes part of the purchase, and is deducted from the total amount needed from the Buyer in funds needed to close. If the Buyer defaults without a good reason, as spelled out in the contract, the earnest money becomes payment for damages incurred by the Seller(s) and their agents and is forfeited.

The earnest deposit could be several hundred or even several thousand dollars. If the Buyer(s) contract is accepted, the money must be deposited in a trust account (noted on the contract) within 3 days of acceptance. If the Buyer(s)' contract is not accepted by the Seller, the money is returned to the Buyer.


Please view our Glossary of Helpful Terms to gain a little knowledge before you buy!