Real Estate FAQS


Real Estate Glossary

New home developments have agents on site, why do I need my own agent?
How much can I afford to spend on a home?
Why should I use a buyer's agent?
Are "low-ball" offers advisable?
When is private mortgage insurance required?
What are the benefits of using a Realtor® to buy or sell a home versus a real estate agent?
What is the MLS?
What are closing costs?
What is earnest money?
QUESTION: New home developments have agents on site, why do I need my own agent?

ANSWER: The agent at the new home sales office works for the builder and has the best interests of the home builder in mind. To protect your own interests, it is prudent to bring an agent of your choice, who has no loyalties to the builder. In addition, my services are free to the home buyer.

QUESTION: How much can I afford to spend on a home?

ANSWER: Many experts believe that you can afford to spend up to three times your gross annual household income. The price you can afford to pay for a home typically depends on these key factors:

  • Your income;
  • The amount of cash you have available for the down payment, closing costs and cash reserves required by the lender;
  • Your outstanding debts;
  • Your credit history;
  • Insurance and taxes;
  • The type of mortgage you select; and of course,
  • Current interest rates.

QUESTION: Why should I use a buyer's agent?

ANSWER: Apart from helping you find the right property, a buyer's agent will negotiate the best terms and conditions, as well as contract provisions that are most favorable to you, the home buyer. As your buyer's agent, my services to you are free.

QUESTION: Are "low-ball" offers advisable?

ANSWER: It depends upon market conditions, the property itself and the location of the property. An unrealistic offer compared to the market value of the home, you stand a chance that the seller will not even bother to negotiate because you're so far apart. The real estate market in Las Vegas right now is very hot, on average most properties don't stay on the market very long. As your agent I will advise you on making a good comparative offer.

QUESTION: When is private mortgage insurance required?

ANSWER: In Nevada you must have private mortgage insurance (PMI) if you put less than 20 percent of the purchase price down. Effective for loans written on or after July 29, 1999, lenders must automatically cancel PMI when the mortgage balance is reduced to 78 percent of the home's original purchase price.

QUESTION: What are the benefits of using a Realtor? to buy or sell a home versus a real estate agent?

ANSWER: While all real estate agents must be state-licensed, not all are Realtors®. Realtors® belong to the local and state Realtor® associations, as well as the National Association of Realtors®. They subscribe to a strict, 17-article Code of Ethics that is committed to the fair treatment of buyers, sellers and fellow Realtors®. Realtors® also have access to the multiple listing service (mls) giving them access to thousands of properties for sale.

QUESTION: What is the MLS?

ANSWER: Closing costs are the costs associated with processing the paperwork to buy a house. Closing costs which you will pay at settlement average 3-4% of the price of the property. These costs cover various fees your lender charges and other processing expenses. When you apply for your loan, your lender will give you an estimate of the closing costs that you will incurr. However, sometimes they will paid by the seller.

QUESTION: What is earnest money?

ANSWER: Earnest money is the deposit you make on the home when you submit your offer to purchase. Earnest money proves to the seller that you are serious about wanting to buy the property. Once you submit an offer on a property, the earnest money is put into an escrow account. If the offer is accepted, your earnest money will be applied to the down payment or closing costs. If your offer is not accepted, your money will be returned to you. However, if you fail to complete the purchase---and say, buy another property, the seller can keep your earnest money deposit. The amount of earnest money varies depending on the property.

Feel free to contact me via e-mail, phone or fax if you have any additional questions not answered here or regarding a specific property.  As a home buyer, my services to you are free.