2022 Boise Idaho Real Estate Blog

3 Questions to Ask Your Realtor As A First-Time Homebuyer

Main Treasure Valley Life

Buying a home is a complicated process that takes time, knowledge, guidance, and a little luck. As a first-time home buyer, you quickly learn the process and it can become overwhelming in a hurry. Our advice is to start by asking these three questions to your realtor.

Whatever real estate agent you work with should be able to answer any question you have during the home buying process—even if it takes a minute to find the correct information. If your agent has been selling homes for a while, they have heard every real estate question under the sun, making them your most valuable resource.

1. What are the steps in the home buying process, start to finish?

The thought of buying something for hundreds of thousands of dollars is daunting enough. It gets even more daunting when there are factors such as competition, inspections, loan approval, and more. To help quell these anxieties, ask your agent to take you through the steps, one by one, starting with loan pre-approval. The more informed you are, the more confident you will be about making decisions down the road.

2. Do you have any recommendations?

Everybody knows the importance of having a network and being able to refer people. In real estate, that is just as important. As a real estate newbie, you will no doubt have questions about who to turn to along the way. Ask your real estate agent who they recommend for a given process, question, or repair. They won't recommend anyone that won’t do a good job. Recommendation questions can be broken down into two sections: Before/during buying a home and after purchasing a home.

Before and during a home

  • Mortgage broker - They will get you pre-approved for a loan, help you determine your buying power, and give you an idea of monthly payments based on credit score and debt-to-income ratio.
  • Home inspector - Nearly all home buying contracts involve a home inspection contingency. A licensed inspector will go through the house and look for anything that needs repair. The inspector’s report is commonly used as a negotiation tool.
  • Lawyer - Buying real estate is a very legal-heavy transaction. Each state has different laws about having a lawyer present (a lawyer does not have to be present in Idaho), so asking your agent about legal counsel advice may be paramount.

After buying a home

  • Plumber - Plumbing issues are one of the most common household problems, and can cause some of the biggest headaches and repairs if they are not found and fixed. A good plumber is a must.
  • Electrician - At least with plumbing, you can see where the problem is. Electricity can also be a household hazard, so knowing who to call when or if there is a problem is also at the top of the repairman list.
  • Sprinkler repair - Idaho summers are hot, so sprinklers are a must to keep your lawn healthy and green. Additionally, Idaho winters are quite cold, so you need to get your sprinklers blown out before the pipes freeze. Busted sprinkler lines are hard to fix yourself, no matter how handy you are.

3. How old are the appliances?

This question comes later in the home buying process when you are touring homes and can be asked to your agent or the seller’s agent. Appliances and systems such as furnaces, dishwashers, dryers, refrigerators, and roofing cost a pretty penny to repair and replace. A large appliance repair bill shortly after sinking your savings to buy your first home is a surefire way to end up in financial trouble. You and your agent being able to negotiate on this subject based on the inspector's report can save you a lot of time, money, and stress.

Even for all of the stresses that buying a house can entail, the end result is worth it. You now have a place to live in that is your own. If you are ready to take that first step to buying your first home, here are some resources to help you get started.


Posted by AndrewS at 8/6/2020 4:07:00 AM

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