With the buying season here, many of you will be purchasing homes, so we've put together a list of the top questions to ask your agent.

What is your fee for representing me?

There is no cost to you. The fee paid to the buyer's agent is pre-negotiated between the listing agent and the seller.

What should I do first in the home buying process?

Get pre-approved through a reputable lender. This will ensure that your agent is showing only the most relevant homes and that you will be in a position to make an offer as soon as the right home comes about!

What is pre-approval vs. pre-qualification and how does it benefit me?

Pre-approval is much more comprehensive than pre-qualification and will give you a competitive edge when shopping for a home. In order to obtain pre-approval, you'll provide the lender with a mortgage application, along with necessary documentation for the lender to perform a more in-depth assessment of your financial background and credit rating.

How long does the buying process take once we're under contract?

Depending on whether you're paying cash for a home or obtaining financing, the length may vary. Cash purchases are able to close as quickly as the title company is able to perform their work, which can be as little as 7 days from the contract date, and sometimes shorter. Some financing may take up to 60 days, but the average time is 30 days.

What is the option period?

In a nutshell, the option allows you to back out of the contract for any reason. The average amount a days for an option period is 7-10; however, this may be shorter or longer depending on the property and how competitive you must be with your offer. Should you choose to terminate the contract, all that you'll lose is your option money, which is typically $100-$200.

What will you need from me once our offer is accepted?

Once our offer is accepted, we have 72 hours to submit our option and earnest money checks to the appropriate parties. The option money is made payable directly to the seller and the earnest money is made payable to the title company.

Will you be locating any private listings for me or just plugging me into an automated MLS search?

Yes, we're always monitoring off-market properties! Ask us how we stay up to speed on these and share them with you.

How do we handle multiple offer situations?

Offering a competitive sales price amount doesn't always cut it when you're competing with other buyers in a hot market. There are many additional details that may be adjusted within the contract that will give our offer the upper hand. We'll go over each of these with you before writing up the contract.

How many offers can we make and what is the cost associated with this?

The only cost associated with making an offer comes once the offer is submitted, accepted, AND signed by all parties. From there, you'll be responsible for the option and earnest money.

What can be expected during and after the home inspection?

The inspection is an opportunity for you to not only make sure the home is in good condition, but perhaps renegotiate portions of the contract and/or specific repairs. Depending on your market, it's important to have an idea of what is reasonable. As a rule of thumb, you should focus on the major systems of the house during an inspection rather than the smaller items that aren't as costly or that you may be able to repair on your own. You and your agent will go over the inspection report and determine a solid game plan specific to your situation.


There are many great Austin homes for sale. Click here to perform a full home search, or if you’re thinking of selling your home, click here for a free home price evaluation so you know what buyers will pay for your home in today’s market.

You may also call us at 512-656-8916 for a free home buying or selling consultation, so that we may answer any of your real estate questions.