Do you have questions about the home buying process? If so, you’re in luck. Buying a home can be both thrilling and scary, but it’s never dull. You’re bound to have a lot of questions throughout the process. Here are the eight most common home buying questions that I receive, along with my answers. Without further ado, let’s get to them:

1. What kind of home can I afford? Most of this depends on your income, but the first step is getting pre-approved. A pre-approval doesn’t cost you anything, but it will allow you to know exactly how much you can afford. You’ll need one to submit an offer on most homes anyway, so it’s best to get this taken care of before you start seriously looking.

2. Can I buy and sell at the same time? The answer is yes, but it’s not a simple process. One strategy we’ve found success with is writing contingent offers. This means that you will only purchase the house once your current home sells. Whether or not this kind of offer is accepted has a lot to do with the kind of market you’re in.

3. How many homes should I see before making an offer? This depends on the individual buyer. Most usually check out at least five to 10 before putting in an offer. However, it might be the first home you see (or the 30th). To streamline the process, focus in on some specific neighborhoods that you’d like to be in.

4. What will the seller accept as a fair price?Typically, knocking 3% to 5% off the list price is a good rule of thumb and won’t ruffle too many feathers. You never know how low a seller is willing to go. If they’re eager to move, you could luck out and score a deal.

“Contingencies are the best way out of a transaction.”

5. How do I know if a property is a good deal? With research, you can keep the surprises to the minimum. I advise you to look at the recent comparable sales in the area and whether those numbers have been trending up or down.

6. How quickly can I close? The average loan process takes 30 to 45 days, giving you plenty of time to handle all of your contingencies and inspections.

7. Should I get a home inspection? The answer is absolutely yes. An inspection takes a big weight off your shoulders by thoroughly looking at the condition of the property. If there are any issues, they can be addressed after the inspection.

8. When can I back out of the transaction if I change my mind? Although buyers can always back out of a deal, doing so without a good reason may cause you to forfeit your earnest money deposit (typically 1% to 2% of the purchase price). Contingencies, like the inspection and appraisal contingencies, are the loopholes that will allow you to get out of the contract and get your earnest money back.

If you have any other home buying questions or questions about anything else, don’t hesitate to give me a call or send me an email. I look forward to hearing from you soon.